Not only will Sigourney Weaver return as the deceased Pandora scientist Dr. Grace Augustine, we now learn the deceased super soldier, and Avatar villain, Colonel Miles Quaritch, will also be returning for Avatar 2, Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 with Stephen Lang ready to step back into Quaritch's shoes.
Deadline broke the news with director James Cameron quoted saying, "Stephen was so memorable in the first film, we're privileged to have him back. I'm not going to say exactly HOW we're bringing him back, but it's a science fiction story, after all. His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga. I really look forward to working with such a gifted actor, who's also become a good friend."
He then goes onto suggest all the ways dead characters can return in a sci-fi story saying, "When you have a science-fiction series, a science-fiction franchise, you're never dead, unless your DNA is expunged from the universe. And then there's always time travel!"
Great, let's waste time explaining the silliness of how we brought a one-note character back to life rather than invent new characters. Of all the characters in Avatar, Lang's was the most annoying. Here's a snippet from my review:
One character that also weighed on me as the film went on was Stephen Lang as Marine Colonel Miles Quaritch. Miles is a hard ass and you are reminded of it over, and over, and over, and over again. He takes a licking and keeps on ticking. He's got scars on his face to prove he's tough and if you still don't believe it he'll just run outside and play "Who can breathe the toxic air longer?" game to prove it. It's a clichéd and predictable character, but I have a feeling over the course of repeated viewings he's someone you come to love to hate as opposed to being annoyed by. That verdict is still out though.
I've seen Avatar only one time since the first viewing and can say the "verdict" I mention above is no longer out, he's simply a character I don't like and the news he's returning doesn't exactly make the prospect of more Avatar movies any better.
Sam Worthington, who will be returning as Jack Sulley, recently said he expects production on the next three films, which will be shot back-to-back-to-back, is expected to begin around October 2014 with scripts from Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Shane Salerno.
Avatar 2 is expected to hit theaters December 2016 with one year separating each subsequent film, all of which hoping to make $2 billion or more.