Stephen Lang on the evolution of Quaritch in the Avatar sequels
It’s officially been over a decade since James Cameron‘s AVATAR was unleashed in theaters, and it feels as though we’ve been hearing about the four sequels for years; we’re still a little less than two years out from the the release of AVATAR 2, but plenty of work has already been completed with many of the actors from the first film returning to reprise their roles, including Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch.
Although Quaritch was seemingly killed at the conclusion of AVATAR, Stephen Lang will apparently be revived to serve as the villain of all four sequels, and the actor recently chatted with The National about the challenges of filming all four sequels at once “I’ve given up trying to keep track. The whole thing gets a little confusing,” Lang said, but added that, “It’s very satisfying to know that the character was valued enough and made enough of an impression to [have Cameron] say ‘we’re not done with him yet’. That, initially, was kind of wonderful, to me. My job is really to advocate the role that I’m playing, and so it’s satisfying to have that much more time to discover Quaritch, find out what makes him tick, talk about him, and hopefully defy expectations that people have for the character, to create new expectations.” Given that Quaritch will be featured in four more AVATAR movies, it’s only natural for the character to evolve.
I’m working now with a much broader canvas than I was with the first Avatar, and it keeps me in concert with James Cameron to really go to town and examine the character in detail. That, to me, is totally tremendously satisfying and challenging. He has evolved, definitely. We’re making four more films, so if he doesn’t evolve, we’re in some kind of trouble. And it’s not always a question of evolution, it’s about becoming more deeply entrenched. I’m still discovering it. That’s something I’ll be discovering as we continue to work because we’re by no means near finished with this process.
From 2013 until now we’ve mostly designed the whole world across four new movies. We’ve written, finished scripts for all four of those films. We’ve cast them, and we’ve [performance] captured movie 2, movie 3, and the first part of movie 4. We’re mostly done with the live action. I’ve got a couple months in New Zealand in spring, so we’re kind of on track with what we set out to do. People don’t really understand the scope and complexity of the process. It’s like making two and a half big animated films. A typical big animated film takes about four years, so, if you do the math on that, we’re kind of right on schedule for December 2021.
The AVATAR sequels are slated to hit theaters on December 17, 2021, December 22, 2023, December 19, 2025, and December 17, 2027.