Avatar’s Stephen Lang Discusses Quaritch’s Obvious and Subtle Changes

Because Stephen Lang‘s antagonistic Miles Quaritch died at the end of Avatar, his return for the sequel seemed bound to feature big changes. Indeed, as we’ve known for a while now, he’s a Recom — an avatar body with memories of a dead man. In an interview with Empire, Lang talked a bit about just what that means, and what the character’s current mission parameters are.

“He’s a genetically-engineered autonomous avatar,” says Lang. “He has been downloaded with the mind, the emotions, and even more interestingly, possibly the spirit of Quaritch. Now, that’s all pretty esoteric stuff. He comes with a full memory bank up until the time he actually undergoes the DNA transfer. So there are certain things that he doesn’t have any memory of at all. He has no memory of his death.”

A newer body could change a person’s character, and Lang sums up nu-Quaritch thusly: “He was a colourful function – a personality-filled function, but he really was there to provide conflict. Now, he still has that function but I also think, just because of the depths of what Jim [Cameron] is exploring here, he’s quite a bit more than that. We’re seeing parts of him that we have not seen hitherto.” As for his physicality, “I think he takes a certain joy in that ability to move in that environment in a way that is confident — that’s a wonderful feeling.”

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But this time, he’ll have a tougher supervisor than the office-putting Giovanni Ribisi, in Edie Falco’s RDA Security General Ardmore. “She outranks Quaritch,” says Lang. “It seems to me he is really trying his hardest to make it work with Ardmore, but we’ll just have to see how that works out. Back in the day, Quaritch was the right-angle, straight line guy in a very fluid and round world. Now it’s Ardmore who lives by this by-the-book doctrinaire, and sometimes you gotta throw the book out the window.”

So could we see a turn for the villain, who’s currently reputed to be the major antagonist in subsequent sequels as well? Lang allows that “he does his job – but I will just suggest that that his relationship with RDA is not a simple thing.”

What do you think we’ll see from Quaritch this time around? Let us know in comments.

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