Stephen Lang To Become The Darth Vader Of Avatar, Will Return For All Three Sequels

The gears on the mighty Avatar machine seem to be spinning at a fairly high rate now. It recently was announced that production on James Cameron’s planned sequels would begin in the fall. And now we’re hearing that a former cast member whom we wouldn’t expect to return actually will be back… and will be a major force (no pun intended) in Cameron’s growing trilogy.

Stephen Lang, who played Colonel Miles Quaritch in Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster, will be back for the next three Avatar films, according to Deadline, and will play a part that’s somehow going to be the "Darth Vader" role in the developing story.

"But … he died," you’ll tell me. I hear you. But Cameron has an answer to that nitpick:

I’m not going to say exactly HOW we’re bringing him back, but it’s a science fiction story, after all. His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga. I really look forward to working with such a gifted actor, who’s also become a good friend."

Expect Avatar shenanigans on Cameron’s part as he works the militant Quaritch back into the storyline, which is going to make a few people on the Internet VERY happy. Did you know that there are multiple tributes to Colonel Quaritch online? Some Avatar fans believe that he is the real hero of Cameron’s story, as he was there to protect a team of scientists… and he gave his life to fight an entire planet and keep his "troops" safe. They actually view Sam Worthington’s character as a traitor.

That group of Avatar fan-fiction authors will tap into the Shakespearean aspect Cameron might try to bring to his upcoming Avatar trilogy, perhaps painting Quaritch as someone who was betrayed on Pandora. The pieces are starting to fall into place for what could be an epic storyline, and Cameron knows who he wants to map it out. Deadline notes that Cameron has tasked Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds) to write the first sequel; Rise Of Planet Of The Apes scribes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver to write the second chapter; and Shane Salerno (Salinger) to draft the third script. Once Cameron begins filming, he’s going to plunge in and shoot all three back-to-back. They are due to hit theaters between 2016 and 2018.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.