Though a couple giant arrows to the chest would have seemed to imply otherwise, Stephen Lang's participation in the Avatar franchise is apparently going to continue. Deadline reports he's signed on to reprise his role as Col. Quaritch for all three sequels, with Lang apparently remaining the central heavy-handed villain waging war against black-light foliage. Sorry, Giovanni Ribisi.
James Cameron isn't yet ready to reveal exactly how Lang will return (Time-travel robot? The most self-loathing Na'vi?), but he did add:
"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 bringing 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."
As Deadline also notes, "Cameron has been working out brainy plot details since the beginning of his career [so] bet he's come up with something thrilling." Probably Lang's still alive in the cherished memories of an old lady relating them to Bill Paxton?