Stephen Lang Knew About His Return in Avatar 2 Since 2010

Anticipation is starting to build for James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, the long-awaited sequel to AvatarMany familiar characters from the first film are returning for Avatar 2, like Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). One character whose return may come as a surprise, however, is Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang). At the end of Avatar, Quaritch is killed by Neytiri before he can murder Jake. Although Quaritch’s appearance may shock some fans, Lang knew about this plan for over a decade and shared how it all went down in an interview with Bleeding Cool.

“Early on, I knew there were plans to bring [Quaritch] back. Jim told me that a long time ago [following the original’s film release], and he reiterated it in January 2010, saying, ‘You’re coming back,'” said Lang. “What I didn’t know was the extent that I would be coming back to. I didn’t know that Quaritch would be as centrally enmeshed in events. I didn’t know he would be either responding to events in such a significant way or that he would be responsible for events happening. He really is a key player in that. To say, ‘I was unprepared,’ I don’t know. I was thrilled, absolutely delighted to be part of it.”

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Quaritch will be the antagonist and return as a Recombinant, which means his memories were implanted into an Avatar. Unlike in the first film, Lang’s performance will be done via performance capture, which provides a new set of challenges for the veteran actor.

“In terms of the technology in the first film, Quaritch is almost exclusively a live-action figure. The only performance capture I did was in the final suit with the final fight between Neytiri [Zoe Saldana], Jake [Sam Worthington], and myself. In the sequels, I’m doing almost nothing but performance capture,” said Lang. “It was great getting involved in the technology in the first place. It’s advanced like crazy because [Cameron] had to figure out a way to do performance capture underwater. That was a huge obstacle set for himself and solved that was not part of the first film. Fundamentally, the performance capture hasn’t changed in a way. It is still as liberating as it always was and still has as many obstacles as it always has. Acting is always difficult. There are always obstacles, right?”

See Lang’s return in Avatar: The Way of Water when it arrives in theaters on December 16.

Are you excited about Lang’s return in Avatar 2? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Recommended Reading: James Cameron: A Retrospective

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