Avatar Star Stephen Lang On Returning For The Sequels Despite Onscreen Death

Stephen Lang in Avatar

Avatar is back at the top of the all-time box office chart which is a good sign for all the forthcoming Avatar sequels. Said blockbusters luckily were also not delayed in the Walt Disney Company's latest performance of the release date two step. The sequels are on the way, with the first one arriving in December of 2022. And with it will come the return of many characters from the first film, including more than one character that seemingly died. Stephen Lang's Miles Quaritch is one of those returning characters, and he recently spoke to his surprising return.

Stephen Lang's character was the main antagonist in the first Avatar film and according to director James Cameron that won't change throughout any of the sequels. Lang certainly isn't revealing any specifics about the how or why of his character's return, but he does tell ComingSoon that Miles Quaritch will go through a lot of changes over the course of the films, which will keep him interesting both for fans, and for himself as an actor. Lang explains,

I think he’s an incredibly fascinating character and he wouldn’t be back if Jim Cameron wasn’t fascinated in him as well and kind of bent on seeing where he goes. Where does that character lead him as a writer, as a director? And where does it lead me as an actor? And so, I think you can absolutely look for some areas of extreme growth in the character; and then probably areas of regression in the character as well, hopefully, over a period of four more films. Of course, we need him to be very, very interesting, where, by the end you’ve taken a journey, or you’ve witnessed a character go on a life journey that was pretty interesting. You know, that you were glad that you could observe. So that’s what we’re trying to do.

While we'll likely need to wait for the movie itself for any sort of plot explanation as to just how Stephen Lang's character will be back, the actor promises that we're not just going to get the same guy again and again throughout the rest of the franchise. Presumably almost dying (or actually dying and then coming back) will have some sort of impact on the character. The best villains are complex and have their own stories and Lang promises that will be the case with his character throughout the Avatar sequels. We won't only be following the journey of our heroes, but him as well.

Stephen Lang's character is perhaps the most curious of the returning characters that we never expected. His character death was fairly unambiguous, being shot in the chest with a couple of arrows. So exactly how he'll be back is unclear. By comparison, Sigourney Weaver's character Dr. Grace Augustine, who also died in the first Avatar still had her memories downloaded into the Tree of Souls, so some sort of explanation for her return can be conjured out of the fantastical elements without much difficulty.

The recent box office success of the original Avatar in China shows that there is still very much an audience for these films, despite the fact that we've gone so long since the first movie and the only major addition to the franchise in that time has been a theme park land. Baring future delays, there have been enough of those, we'll finally see more Avatar next year.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.