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Avatar 2: Who Does Shane Rangi Play & Where Have You Seen Him Before?

Shane Rangi is an actor and stuntman from New Zealand who boasts a decades-long career that primarily features credits from major fantasy film franchises. But while his projects are known around the globe, they're unlikely to be known for his involvement since he often lends his talent to minor or uncredited roles.

For example, in "Avatar: The Way of Water," the 2022 sequel to James Cameron's 2009 blockbuster, Rangi portrays a character credited as "Matador Co-Pilot," the Matador being a speedboat used by the Resources Development Administration to harvest amrita from tulkun in order to prolong human life for exorbitant prices. It's unclear whether or not he survives the final fight, but considering how efficiently his boat is eviscerated by the tulkun that attacks it, his odds aren't great.

"The Way of Water" wasn't Rangi's first trip to Pandora, however. He also has an uncredited role in "Avatar" as "Amp Suit." So maybe he'll return for the next installment, whenever it hits theaters. Having multiple appearances as different characters in the same franchise is Rangi's bread and butter. Here are some of his previous projects and the many, many roles he played in them.

Shane Rangi keeps going back to Middle-earth

From 2001 to 2003, and under the expert direction of Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema released the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The three films therein serve as Shane Rangi's earliest credits, which means that he entered the industry through one of the most beloved stories of all time.

In "The Fellowship of the Ring" and "The Two Towers," Rangi portrays the Witch-king of Angmar, one of eight actors to have done so over the course of the trilogy. Rangi is the one who stabs Frodo (Elijah Wood) on Weathertop and is seen searching for Frodo and Sam (Sean Astin) above the Dead Marshes on the fell beast. The actor also portrays one of the Easterlings who investigates the dust Sam kicks up as he rolls down the hill in front of the Black Gate in "The Two Towers" and a Harad leader in "The Return of the King." Alongside these roles, he also serves as a member of the stunt team for all three films.

Rangi returned to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien a few years later with the "Hobbit" trilogy. The prequel films never quite reached the same level of acclaim as their predecessors, but the "Hobbit" movies must be better than we remember because they kept audiences in theaters from 2012 to 2014. In "An Unexpected Journey" and "The Desolation of Smaug," Rangi portrays a Hunter Orc, pulling double duty in the first film as a motion-captured CGI goblin. In "The Battle of the Five Armies," he cameos as a Laketown refugee. For this trilogy, too, Rangi joined the stunt team.

Shane Rangi's second fantasy franchise was The Chronicles of Narnia

You'd think one massive franchise would be enough to sate someone's happiness, but in this case, you would be wrong. Shane Rangi barely said goodbye to "The Lord of the Rings" before he dove into "The Chronicles of Narnia," a series of films based on the written work of C.S. Lewis. First under Walt Disney Studios' umbrella and then 20th Century Studios', the "Narnia" films came out between 2005 and 2010 and follow a group of children as they explore a magical land that is loosely filled with biblical analogies.

In "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," Rangi portrays General Otmin, a minotaur in the employ of the film's wicked antagonist. In "Prince Caspian," he portrays a werewolf and Asterius, another minotaur. Rangi also lends his voice to the video game adaptation of "Prince Caspian." His connection to the franchise survived the studio shift because, in "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," he portrays Tavros, who is — you guessed it — another minotaur. For those keeping score at home, that's three minotaurs and one werewolf.

Mortal Engines reunited Shane Rangi with Peter Jackson

Directors tend to keep the talents they trust nearby, so it shouldn't be surprising that, after eight films together (including "King Kong" and "The Adventures of Tintin"), Peter Jackson brought Shane Rangi on board for "Mortal Engines" in 2018. While the "Lord of the Rings" director did not direct "Mortal Engines," he did co-write the screenplay and serve as one of its many producers. Rangi portrays "Burly Salvageman" and once again joined the stunt team.

"Mortal Engines" is the only fantasy film that sees Rangi play a singular role, though perhaps he would have accrued a few more credits within the story had it been permitted a sequel. "Mortal Engines" bombed at the box office, losing Universal Pictures a reported $175 million.  For reference, that number is so staggeringly huge that the film is one of the biggest flops of all time.

Outside of "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "The Lord of the Rings," most of Rangi's credits are similar in size and scope to his work on "Mortal Engines," where he enjoys a brief moment of screen time, gets to do a few tricks, and then bows out for the main cast to barrel forward with the plot.