If you happened to catch Avatar when it got rereleased in theaters earlier this year you may have forgotten that main villain Colonel Miles Quaritch, played by Stephen Lang, didn't make it out of the final fight alive. You may not have expected it because you hadn't seen the James Cameron movie in a while, or because you already know that Lang is reprising his role for the upcoming sequels to Avatar, including this month's Avatar: The Way of Water. Speaking in a new interview with Empire, Lang opened up about his character's return, confirming exactly how it happens and revealing who the actual big villain of Avatar: The Way of Water really is.
"He's a genetically-engineered autonomous avatar," Lang says of his character, revealing him to be a "Recombinant" or "Recom" in the movie. "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."
Lang adds, "It's fair to say (it's the same Quaritch), but I think it's incomplete. If you think about it, in the original film, Quaritch was really a function. He was a colorful 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."
Lang went on to tease that newcomer Edie Falco will seemingly be the main antagonist of the new film, playing a character called "Ardmore" who actually outranks his character. He notes, "t 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."
Avatar: The Way of Water is set to arrive on December 16, 2022, with Avatar 3 set to debut two years later on December 20, 2024.