The news that Stephen Lang, who played Marine Colonel Quaritch in the first Avatar movie, is returning for the sequels is surprising, for obvious reasons: He got killed him in the first one. Yet if you want a character to return, there’s almost always a way, and Lang is indeed coming back.
As Cameron told Deadline, “Steven was so memorable in the first film, we’re privileged to have him back. I’m not going to say exactly how we’re going to bring him back, but it’s a science fiction story, after all. His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga. I really look forward to working with such a gifted actor, who’s also become a good friend.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the first Avatar sequel is slated for a December 2016 release, the second sequel December 2017, and the last movie will come some time in 2018.