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By time Avatar 2 takes its place in theaters on December 18, 2020, it will be a little over a decade since James Cameron’s first film in the franchise was released. But if the casting process is any indication, this wait has not only given them plenty of time to make the technological advancements the sequel needs, it’s given Cameron and company time to put together a stellar cast. Case in point is the latest casting announcement below, introducing The Sopranos and Nurse Jackie star Edie Falco as General Ardmore.

Billed as “the commander in charge of the RDA’s interests in the Avatar sequels,” Falco’s role sounds like it’ll be crucial not only to Avatar 2’s storyline, but also the arc covered in the remaining films planned so far. Should that be the case, there’s a chance that Edie Falco’s General Ardmore could be an even greater, more evil threat than Stephen Lang’s Col. Miles Quaritch, who is set to return to the ranks of the RDA in some capacity for the Avatar sequels.

This new casting is definitely a welcome surprise for Avatar 2, as Falco’s career has mostly involved very grounded comedy/drama projects. In addition to her landmark TV work, Edie Falco has been seen in films like Megan Leavey, and most recently Netflix’s The Land of Steady Habits. So seeing her in such realistic fare obviously sets up this Avatar 2 announcement as a welcomed shock, especially for those fans who are now picturing Carmella Soprano getting ready to terrorize Jake Sully, his Na’vi family and anyone who gets in her way.

Edie Falco’s hiring only makes the current cast for Avatar 2 (or Avatar: The Way of Water if the rumoured title turns out to be legit) that much more impressive. And this is keeping in mind the fact that one of the first big hires was James Cameron’s Titanic collaborator Kate Winslet. Cast as a character named Ronal, she will be a member of the Metkayina tribe on Pandora, though we have yet to learn where her allegiances lie in the forthcoming story.

Avatar 2 will also see the return of previous cast members such as Sam Worthington as Jake Sully, Zoe Saldana as Neytiri and Dileep Rao’s Dr. Patel. So the vast cast being brought on board is undoubtedly a play to introduce us to a rich panoply of characters we’ll see grow and expand along with the Avatar series. Which is, indeed, something this series will need to do once it starts up again.

Undoubtedly Avatar 2 might be a tough sell, seeing as it’s been so long since that first film broke all of the records. In the decade Jake Sully and friends have been away, Star Wars and Star Trek came back to life, making the big budget sci-fi landscape all the more crowded. Plus, Avatar’s backlash has been allowed to set in over that much time, which has some questioning if these sequels will even come close to making the money some would expect after such an auspicious start.

So naturally, new characters and respected actors to play them is a wise strategy that any franchise would engage in. And with Avatar 2 posing a possible clash between Kate Winslet and Edie Falco, at the heart of the foundation laid by Avatar so long ago, one can’t help but think this could be the shot in the arm this dormant giant could need to reign again. Time, and Twitter, will tell, as that will undoubtedly be the platform to keep an eye on, as Falco’s casting was made public through that very venue.

We’ll see what happens as we get closer to Avatar 2’s slated release date of December 18, 2020 – a date we hope is pretty much written in stone at this point. However, if you want to get another rush of a similar calibre of sci-fi world building, with James Cameron’s hand also involved in the proceedings, Alita: Battle Angel will be in theaters to help you out on February 14th.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend to hear the latest developments in the Avatar series, as it’s only bound to get more interesting from this point forward.

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