Despite his character seemingly dying in the original Avatar, Stephen Lang is set to make his return as Colonel Miles Quaritch in Avatar: The Way of Water. In a recent interview with Empire, Lang revealed just how that’s possible.
In the highly anticipated Avatar sequel, Lang will play a “recom” version of himself, which stands for a recombinant. Essentially, according to Lang, his characters’ mind, emotions, and potentially the spirit of Quaritch has been downloaded into an autonomous avatar.
“He’s a genetically-engineered autonomous avatar,” said 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.”
While Lang’s Quaritch may now be housed inside of an avatar, it doesn’t mean he’s going to be any nicer or more accepting of the people who stand in his way.
“It’s fair to say it, but I think it’s incomplete,” Lang said when asked if he was still the same old Quaritch. “If you think about it, in the original film, Quaritch was really a function. 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 is exploring here, he’s quite a bit more than that. We’re seeing parts of him that we have not seen hitherto. That only makes sense because we don’t want to be massaging the same territory over and over again. We need to go to new places and indeed he does.”
The sequel is directed and co-written by James Cameron. It features the return of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, Stephen Lang, Matt Gerald, and Sigourney Weaver. Additional cast members include Kate Winslet, Edie Falco, Michelle Yeoh, Vin Diesel, Jemaine Clement, and Oona Chaplin, alongside a slate of young actors.
“Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure,” says the official synopsis.
Three additional films are planned, with Avatar 3 tentatively scheduled for December 20, 2024, Avatar 4 set for December 18, 2026, and Avatar 5 on December 22, 2028.