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Stephen Lang Never Stopped Preparing To Reprise His Role As Colonel Quaritch In Avatar: The Way Of Water

In 2009, "Avatar" came out of seemingly nowhere to dominate the box office. To this day, it remains the highest-grossing movie of all time, and its legacy will only grow with the continued success of its sequel, "Avatar: The Way of Water." As of this writing, the sequel has grossed over $2 billion, joining a very exclusive club of films. With its run in theaters not slowing down any time soon, it's safe to say it could easily make as much money, if not more, as its predecessor. 

However, the sequel's success was a long time coming, to the point where many people wondered if a follow-up to "Avatar" would be met with the same acclaim as the first. But it's clear a sizable portion of the population was merely waiting on the sidelines for "The Way of Water" to make a splash.

One person who clearly never forgot about the franchise was star Stephen Lang, who plays Quaritch in both films. It may have taken 13 years for "Avatar" to get a sequel, but Lang never lost sight of that return. 

Stephen Lang loved playing Quaritch

In the 13-year gap between "Avatar" movies, Stephen Lang has kept busy. He's appeared in numerous films and even headlined a very different kind of franchise in the form of "Don't Breath" and its sequel. However, it's clear that while he worked on other projects, a part of him always carried a torch for the "Avatar" series. 

Even killing off Quaritch in the first "Avatar" couldn't dampen Lang's spirit, as he returns in the sequel in the vessel of a Recombinant (an Avatar with the memories of a deceased fighter like Quaritch.) It made for a unique villain who had already gone up against Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) once before, but this time, he's in the body of his enemy. While it would be easy for a lot of performers to lose the thread after such a long time between installments, Lang was prepared, as he told Digital Spy in an interview. He explained, "I don't think I ever really abandoned the mindset, because I'd known for a long, long time that there was more to be said on [Quaritch's] behalf. So I always kept those embers kind of glowing in the back of my heart — or heartless body."

News of Lang's return to Pandora first broke in 2013, four years after the first film came out. And Lang wasn't worried, as he went on to say, "So when time came to actually revisit Quaritch and bring him to life, I was ready to do it. He's a character that I find a great pleasure to inhabit." With Quaritch still around at the end of "Avatar: The Way of Water," it's safe to say he'll be causing the Sullys even more problems going forward, and Lang is definitely ready to do so.