Way back in 2013, director James Cameron made the surprising revelation that Avatar star Stephen Lang will reprise his role as Colonel Quaritch, despite seemingly dying in the original blockbuster. Since then, the filmmaker has expanded his massive franchise from three sequels to four, with Avatar 2's release pushed one full year to Christmas 2018. While these sequels appear to be constantly evolving, Stephen Lang revealed that James Cameron is still planning on bringing this character back for all four sequels.
During his interview from 2013, James Cameron wouldn't exactly say how Quaritch would be back, only teasing that this sequel is "a sci-fi story," hinting there are any number of ways he could be resurrected. The filmmaker also teased that his characters will "evolve into unexpected places" over the course of this franchise, but those statements were over three years ago. During an interview with Mashable, Stephen Lang made it clear that Quaritch is here to stay.
"Well, I can say because it's a matter of public record, that the character of Col. Quaritch is important in each of the films - Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5."
Sadly, he would not elaborate how Quaritch will come back, but Stephen Lang is expected to join returning stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana, who are expected back for all three Avatar sequels. Avatar 2 will be coming in 2018, with Avatar 3 coming two years later in 2020. Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 will be arriving back-to-back in 2022 and 2023. James Cameron had originally planned to shoot his three sequels simultaneously, but we don't know for sure if that is still on the table.
James Cameron brought on Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) to write Avatar 2, with Shane Salerno (Savages) and the writing team of Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) writing Avatar 3 and Avatar 4. No story details for any of the sequels were revealed, but it has been said that fans will see many different worlds the Na'vi inhabit within Pandora. The director also teased at CinemaCon that all four sequels will "stand alone but come together to form a saga."
The sequels were supposed to start shooting this spring, but with Avatar 2 pushed back to 2018, that isn't happening anymore. We don't know for sure when these sequels will finally go before cameras, but when they do hit theaters, they'll have big shoes to fill. 2009's Avatar still holds the all-time worldwide box office record with $2.7 billion, followed by James Cameron's other blockbuster Titanic ($2.1 billion) and last year's epic Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($2.06 billion). Star Wars: The Force Awakens did shatter Avatar's domestic record of $760.5 million with $936.6 million, and it's possible that future Star Wars movies could finally break all of Avatar's box office records before the first sequel hits theaters.