Avatar director/writer James Cameron has confirmed that Stephen Lang's Col. Miles Quaritch will be the main villain throughout all four of the upcoming Avatar sequels. Following the massive success of Avatar in 2009, many fans have expected Cameron to immediately roll out his follow-up, set again on the futuristic planet of Pandora. However, over the eight years since then, the filmmaker has instead expanded his vision beyond a two-part Avatar sequel into a four-part saga - with production on the Avatar sequels set to begin at long last next month (September, at the time of writing this).
Lang has long been confirmed as part of the Avatar sequels - and while fans are happy to see him back, many are wondering how he will be returning, given that he was seemingly killed near the end of the original Avatar. Of course, thanks to the nature of the sci-fi genre (coupled with Cameron's imagination and a cinematic setting where seemingly anything is possible), there are a myriad of ways to resurrect Quaritch from his grave and make him more menacing than ever. It appears that he will indeed be more dangerous than ever when he returns; enough so for him to work as the main antagonist for four more films.
Cameron sat down with Empire and has revealed that not only will Quaritch will be back, he will stick a little bit longer this time as he tries to execute his revenge on those who have wronged him:
"The interesting conceit of the Avatar sequels is it’s pretty much the same characters. There are new characters and a lot of new settings and creatures, so I’m taking characters you know and putting them in unfamiliar places and moving them on this greater journey. But it’s not a whole bunch of new characters every time. There’s not a new villain every time, which is interesting. Same guy. Same motherfucker through all four movies. He is so good and he just gets better. I know Stephen Lang is gonna knock this out of the park."
Aside from Quaritch, who bit the dust in the first Avatar movie, Dr. Grace Augustine (played by Camerone's longtime collaborator Sigourney Weaver) is also coming back to the lore. The pair's respective resurrections are still being kept tightly under wraps - but given Cameron's aforementioned comments, it appears as though both actors will simply be reprising their previous roles, with (obviously) a new spin to them.
Not much is known in terms of the overall narrative of the next four Avatar films or how they link to the events of the first installment in the franchise. However, Cameron has indicated the films will be highly emotional and ground its sci-fi elements by infusing family - presumably Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri's (Zoe Saldana) - dynamics into the story. Further, Cameron's quest to push the boundaries of visual storytelling on the big screen is also expected to be evident in the upcoming movies, with the director even pushing to create a glasses-free 3D viewing experience for the sequels.