According to Star Wars nobody is ever really gone. In comics death is but a minor inconvenience, until sales drop and then either a multiverse, a cosmic event or a passing of the mantle allows a hero to rise once more.

At least Avatar has something of an excuse, in that it exists in a world where a persons consciousness can be uploaded wholesale into a waiting host, or avatar, to allow them to crack on as before.

So it was no surprise last year to learn that Stephen Lang would be returning to his role as chief villain Colonel Miles Quaritch alongside another non-survivor of part one, Sigourney Weaver.

Lang’s performance was a highlight of the 2009 movie.  He’s back for all four sequels apparently.

Cameron addressed it, saying they won’t have:

“…a whole bunch of new characters every time… There’s not a new villain every time, which is interesting. Same guy. Same motherf–ker through all four movies. He is so good and he just gets better.”

Lang himself said he was surprised to come back and grateful for the opportunity:

“It’s very satisfying to know that the character was valued enough and made enough of an impression to [have Cameron] say ‘we’re not done with him yet’. That, initially, was kind of wonderful, to me.

My job is really to advocate the role that I’m playing, and so it’s satisfying to have that much more time to discover Quaritch, find out what makes him tick, talk about him, and hopefully defy expectations that people have for the character, to create new expectations.

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.

He has evolved, definitely. 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.”

Four sequels are planned.  The second and third movies – Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, are filming side by side now.

If they approach the box-office take of the first movie then Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 will entire production in fairly short order.