via 20th Century Fox
When it was first announced that Stephen Lang would be returning as Colonel Miles Quaritch in Avatar: The Way of Water, fans were left wondering how (and why, for that matter) the cigar-chomping villain was being brought back to continue waging his war on Jake Sully and the Na’vi.
As it turns out, not even certain death could stop the scenery-chewing soldier from trying to accomplish his goal, with Empire revealing the first official image of Quaritch from The Way of Water, where he’s become that which he sought to destroy.
That’s right; Lang has been donning the performance capture leotard to bring the character to life as a big blue alien, and as you’d expect, that internal conflict is set to drive his arc throughout the film.
“He’s bigger, he’s bluer, he’s pissed off. But there may possibly be an aspect of humility. When you take two Na’vi arrows in the chest, that’s gonna have some kind of effect on you. [He] was always a character who moved in straight lines and at right angles. But now he is as lithe as they come. He can move with the same kind of cunning and feral quality that any of the Na’vi can.”
That spells very bad news indeed for the natives, because if there’s one thing that’s set to make their lives even harder, it’s a Quaritch upgrade. Now that he’s effectively been established as the boogeyman of the entire Avatar universe, we’ll be hoping that Lang’s grizzled ferocity is just as intense in CGI form than it is when the actor is allowed to cut loose in person.