‘Avatar 5’ Script Left Stephen Lang “Weeping” (And Not Because It Won’t Be Released for Nearly Another Decade)

‘Avatar 5’ Script Left Stephen Lang “Weeping” (And Not Because It Won’t Be Released for Nearly Another Decade)

Full disclosure: I have no idea what to make of these Avatar sequels anymore. It’ll always be notable how the first movie, despite turning into a runaway train that landed the film its place in box office history in vintage James Cameron fashion, nevertheless faded away from pop culture memory. There’s an irony in how its sheer universality — the quality that made it such an easy selling point in the first place — also made it so forgettable. The oft-delayed sequels have naturally invited skepticism, but actor Stephen Lang is doing his part to ensure our expectations remain high for the future.

While promoting his starring role in Don’t Breathe 2, Collider asked Lang for anything he could reveal about the long in-development Avatar sequels. With Lang’s Quaritch somehow returning from the dead to become a more “complicated” villain in the sequels, he’d be the right man to ask. His rather surprising answer regarding the script for Avatar 5 sure bodes well for cynics who may have found the script of the first Avatar to be rather lacking.

“When I finished the last script, I was weeping. I just thought it was so beautiful. Yeah, the final script, because he’s telling a great, great story, an original story, a beautiful, beautiful story, and I was just incredibly moved by it. I hope and I trust and believe that audiences will be too, because one of the things that he does really, really well is he moves it from the page to the stage in a way that that is very literal. You know what I mean? You really see it. What you read is what you get from him, I think, and more.”

We think Lang might be a fan of the story, but it’s hard to tell from these comments. In all seriousness and without speculating on the actor’s ability to analyze scripts, it’s nice to hear this sort of unbridled enthusiasm from a veteran actor who would have every right to be slightly burned-out by now. The production for these Avatar sequels have sounded absolutely grueling, with multiple sequels all being worked on simultaneously. Based on Lang’s obvious passion for the sequels, maybe it wouldn’t be too outlandish to think that the franchise could end up becoming the post-pandemic boost that theaters so badly need.

A Technical Triumph

Any given actor can hardly get through a conversation about James Cameron without praising the filmmaker’s legendary technical prowess, and Stephen Lang is no different. Without getting into specifics, Lang details an instance where an on-set logistical problem threatened to spiral out of control. But Cameron’s ingenuity and technical acumen came through to save the day.

“He’s definitely pushing it big time on this one. I’m not giving away any trade secrets to say that, but I remember working on a sequence with him, there was an issue of scale going on. That’s all I’ll say. And it was defeating. It took and brought everything to kind of a halt. There was a problem that no one else recognized except him at the moment. So he had to come up with a solution. Anyway, we basically shut down or started working on something else. The next day, he came to me kind of really excited and said, ‘I figured out the algorithm to do this.’ He stared [at] this algorithm and I’m looking at him thinking, ‘What the hell are you talking about? I have no idea what you’re talking about.’ But he did. He created a problem…there was a problem because he wanted a scene, something to happen, and then he solved it. He’s been doing that for his entire career. And it’s pretty cool, pretty amazing.”

One thing’s for sure based on these quotes: the Avatar sequels will likely be visual splendors on par with or even surpassing the mind-blowing wonder of the original. That first movie released back in 2009, but the passage of years has seemingly done nothing to dull the excitement surrounding the sequels.

Avatar 2 is currently set for release on December 22, 2022. Anything can happen between now and then, particularly in light of Covid-era realities, but here’s hoping that James Cameron has something special up his sleeve again.

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