In a new interview with Empire, James Cameron (Avatar, Avatar 2, Avatar 3, Avatar 4, T2 3-D: Battle Across Time, Avatar 5) has dropped something of a bombshell: namely, that Avatar's Stephen Lang will somehow be playing the villain in all four Avatar sequels.
Says Cameron (as quoted by Collider):
"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 motherfucker 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.”
Stephen Lang, you may remember, played the villainous Col. Quaritch in 2009's Avatar, and died at the end of that film. How he'll be resurrected here is anyone's guess (we know next to nothing about the plot of all four Avatar sequels), but given the already-established mythology we're assuming it has something to do with spirit trees or ghost plants or something. Whatever the case may be, the story's been designed to unfold across all four films, each of which will be its own contained narrative.
According to Cameron, 'twas none other than Peter Jackson who suggested this approach:
“I said ‘It’s your fault I’m doing this, motherfucker!' 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.”
We're very curious to see how this thing's gonna unfold, and we don't have to wait much longer: the first Avatar sequel is slated to arrive...oh, in December of 2020? I guess that is quite a while longer. Oh, well, we've waited nine years for an Avatar sequel, what's another two and a half?
Stay tuned for more on Avatars 2-5 as the updates roll in.