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Avatar 2’s Stephen Lang on getting a call from James Cameron, Colonel Quaritch’s rebirth: ‘Expect the unexpected’

Avatar: The Way of Water actor Stephen Lang speaks to about the film, James Cameron's call to him for joining Avatar 2, and his character's demise and return in the franchise.

stephen langStephen Lang as Colonel Quaritch in James Cameron's Avatar. (Photo: 20th Century Fox)
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When the villainous Colonel Quaritch ‘dies’ in James Cameron’s 2009 release Avatar, you cannot help but feel surprised and elated simultaneously. First thought — good, he is gone; but what will they do now with that evil-shaped hole he left behind? A good story needs a good villain after all.

But fret not, as maverick filmmaker James Cameron is two steps ahead of you. Colonel Quaritch, played with wonderful conviction by Tony Award nominee Stephen Lang, is returning in a theatre near you, come December 16. When asked how the actor had earlier said he was supposed to make a comeback for the sequel and had forgotten about it, Lang smiled and said no such promises were extracted between himself and Cameron.

Speaking to, Stephen said, “James Cameron did not promise me that I would be a part of Avatar 2. He informed me that I would be there, I sought no promises and he made none. At some point he had said that character of Colonel Quaritch was going to return. I was of course pleased and thrilled because you know at the end of Avatar, there is a certain finality when you receive two very large arrows in your chest, you might think you are finished at that point. So it was a great bonus and a blessing that I received that call (from Cameron), and I am back in a very very significant way.”

As the readers might know, Quaritch is someone who happens to loathe any life form that is not human, so you can imagine how he feels about Pandora’s natives, the Na’vis. Lang teased about his character’s journey in Avatar: The Way of Water.

“Whatever you may expect, I hope the character defies that. I hope people feel surprised by what he goes through and what he becomes, I think you will recognise him, albeit I will be in a different framework. But I think you will recognise the attitude, the swagger, the qualities of leadership that he has. I think if you have expectations of that, those will be fulfilled. Also, he is always looking for a fight. That is what he is there for, that is his mission. But I do believe there will be some surprises as we continue to mine this character for everything that he is worth. Because there really would be no point in bringing the role back just to repeat itself, that would be pointless, it would be uninteresting. So expect the unexpected, that is what I would say,” the actor signed off.

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Also starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Kate Winslet among others, Avatar: The Way of Water arrives in cinemas on December 16.

First published on: 10-12-2022 at 08:29 IST
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