James Cameron talks 'Avatar' sequels' villain

Stephen Lang in ‘Avatar’ (Photo: 20th Century Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Eight years after its release, Avatar still stands as the all-time box-office king (not adjusting for inflation), as well as the last fictional feature helmed by James Cameron. Nonetheless, plans are well under way to devise follow-ups to that sci-fi smash hit — four sequels, to be exact. And in a new interview with Empire magazine, the filmmaker reveals some surprising details about the direction those films will be taking, and who’ll be coming back for more interplanetary action.

In that article, Cameron makes it clear that, despite having seemingly perished at the end of Avatar, Stephen Lang’s villainous Colon Quartich will be returning as the prime antagonist of Sam Worthington’s Jake and Zoe Saldana’s Neytiri (and her Na’vi brethren). As he tells Empire:

“The interesting conceit of the Avatar sequels is it’s pretty much the same characters. There are new characters and a lot of new settings and creatures, so I’m taking characters you know and putting them in unfamiliar places and moving them on this greater journey. But it’s not a whole bunch of new characters every time. There’s not a new villain every time, which is interesting. Same guy. Same motherf—er through all four movies. He is so good and he just gets better. I know Stephen Lang is gonna knock this out of the park.”

Embarking on a quest to make four big-budget, CGI-heavy movies at once is no small feat, of course. But Cameron sounds enthusiastic about the undertaking, which he says was inspired by Peter Jackson and his The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, which proved that such a production could be accomplished:

“I said ‘It’s your fault I’m doing this, motherf—er! It’s one big story. But I would say a little bit different from The Lord Of The Rings, which you knew was a trilogy and that allowed you to accept a sort of truncated ending for movies one and two and then a fulfillment. This is a greater narrative broken up into four complete stories.”

To read more about what Cameron had to say about his upcoming Avatar franchise installments, head over to Empire. The first of those films is, for now, scheduled to arrive in December 2020.

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