Latest Fantasy News: Stephen Lang prepares for his big return in ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ as one of Ryan Reynolds’ worst-ever releases gasps for air on streaming

2009’s Avatar remains one of the most widely-viewed films of all time – and hype for its sequel, The Way of Water, has hardly slowed down in the weeks leading up to its premier. The film promises to follow in the footsteps of its groundbreaking predecessor, dazzling audiences with stunning visuals and creative characters. One such character is making his big return after appearing in the first film, but few fans are likely to recognize him.

All of this is milling around fans’ heads as they look ahead to The Way of Water‘s debut, alongside knowledge that, should the film not perform spectacularly at the box office, we’re unlikely to see the remainder of the planned Avatar releases. This is due to the massive production costs behind the latest film, which will be hard-pressed to make a solid return without high viewership.

And poor viewership sometimes comes part and parcel with the fantasy genre. This is exemplified by the resurgence of a long-forgotten fantasy flop, which features one of Ryan Reynolds’ least-popular performances of all time. It’s a stellar example of how a good concept can irredeemably fail once audiences set eyes on it, and fans are adamantly hoping that The Way of Water steers far clear of this particular problem.

The villain from Avatar is set to make his return as a Na’vi in The Way of Water

Image via 20th Century Studios

Stephen Lang will return as Colonel Miles Quaritch in the sequel to 2009’s Avatar — reprising his role as the film’s villain — but in very different form from the first film. Given his assumed death at the conclusion of the first film, Quaritch will return in a Na’vi body, similar to the one inhabited by Sam Worthington’s Jake Sully. According to Lang, his character will remain villainous, despite his rebirth, due to his irredeemably chaotic nature. The actor noted that “Quaritch is born and reborn under the same aggressively wayward star,” leading him to once again clash with the people of Pandora.

The Way of Water has a high bar if it hopes to make a box office profit

Jake Neytiri Avatar the way of water children
Image via 20th Century Fox / Empire

Hype for The Way of Water remains high, and that’s excellent news for James Cameron. According to the popular director, the film has a high financial bar to pass before it can be considered truly profitable. Due to the sky-high production costs associated with the heavily-CGI’d film, it will need to net a minimum of $2 billion at the box office to turn a profit, an incredibly high bar that, if left unaccomplished, could see the Avatar franchise conclude with The Way of Water.

The unwanted sequel to a nearly forgotten fantasy failure attempts to gain streaming ground

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Few people remember the 2013 attempt to blend several popular fantasy and sci-fi genres into one action-packed film, and for good reason. R.I.P.D. intended to blend the humor and style of Men in Black with Ghostbusters, but the Ryan Reynolds-led film failed spectacularly in accomplishing its goal. Somehow, despite its general lack of favor among fantasy fans, the film even managed to spawn a sequel, which released recently and is currently — inexplicably — on the rise on streaming. Go figure.

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