'Avatar 2' news: Stephen Lang confirms film will start production in 2017; premiere in December 2018?

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A promotional image for "Avatar" (Facebook/Avatar)

Fans who can’t get enough of the Na’vi can rejoice now as it appears that the long awaited sequel to “Avatar” will start filming in early 2017.

While speaking at a panel at the recently concluded Wizard World Comic Con Chicago, actor Stephen Lang revealed that they would start shooting the Avatar sequels at the start of 2017. He also said that “the whole process of making the films and opening the films will go to about 2023.”

Lang played Colonel Miles Quaritch, the primary antagonist of the first film, so his announcement just about confirmed that his character is returning in the sequels. Surely viewers remember that Quaritch died at the end of “Avatar,” so how did he survive those arrows to the chest?

In an interview with Deadline back in 2013, director James Cameron said that they planned to bring Lang back because of his performance as Quaritch. Since “Avatar” was a science fiction story, there would be different ways to do this.

Fans should be reminded that Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) also died in the first film, but he managed to live on in his genetically engineered Na’vi body. Viewers should give Cameron the benefit of the doubt since he has always managed to pull off some unique concepts like the time travel in “Terminator.”

Some people are speculating that Sigourney Weaver, who played Grace Augustine in the first movie, may play as a new villain in the sequel while Lang will be the new protagonist. Now, that will be a big exchange of roles for the two. There are even rumors saying that Jake and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) may not return in the sequel and that the story will take place in the underwater regions of Pandora.

As previously reported, “Avatar 2” will probably premiere in December 2018 with three other sequels following in 2020, 2022 and 2023.