Stephen Lang says he has been given the chance to “really go to town” with his work in James Cameron’s Avatar sequels.
The actor played sadistic Colonel Miles Quaritch in the original 2009 movie and was seemingly killed off in a hail of Na’vi arrows during the closing moments of that film.
James Cameron, however, has found a way to bring Quaritch back, allowing Lang the chance to take part in the director’s dizzying shoot.
Lang is excited to see the finished product and to “defy expectations” of what audiences think they’re going to get from his character.
He told The National: “I’m working now with a much broader canvas than I was with the first Avatar, and it keeps me in concert with James Cameron to really go to town and examine the character in detail.
“That, to me, is totally, tremendously satisfying and challenging.”
Avatar 2 was originally supposed to arrive in cinemas in 2014, but the perfectionism of writer-director Cameron — as well as the enormity of the technology required — has continuously pumped the brakes.
Lang has shot footage for all four of the planned sequels and admitted he has “given up trying to keep track” of it all.
Read more: Avatar 2 plot to feature large time jump
He is sure, however, that his character has been taken in directions fans have not prepared for over the course of the series.
Lang added: “We’re making four more films, so if he doesn’t evolve, we’re in some kind of trouble.
“And it’s not always a question of evolution, it’s about becoming more deeply entrenched. I’m still discovering it.
“That’s something I’ll be discovering as we continue to work because we’re by no means near finished with this process.”
No titles have been revealed for the upcoming Avatar sequels, though Cameron did confirm that a list of potential monikers was genuine.
As well as Lang and the returning leads Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana, Avatar 2 is set to feature Michelle Yeoh, David Thewlis and Kate Winslet.
Avatar 2 is currently slated for UK release in December 2021, followed by Avatar 3 in 2023, Avatar 4 in 2025 and Avatar 5 in 2027.