It goes without saying that James Cameron is going to want to step up his game for the first sequel (of at least two or three in the pipeline) to Avatar, somehow building on the scale and thrills of the previous film, which opened to wide acclaim – more for its visuals and execution than its story – and a colossal, record-breaking box office gross of almost $2.8bn. And aside from more advanced visual effects, how exactly can Cameron up the “wow factor”?
Presence counts for a lot, and alongside those gorgeously-rendered CGI gunships, it’s important to amass a cast of stars who know what they’re doing. With several of the first film’s biggest stars unable to return due to being, well, dead, a few spots have opened up for vital roles, and who better for Cameron to turn to than some of his most loyal and prolific collaborators to date?
Here’s five Cameron mainstays who need to be cast in the first Avatar sequel.
1. Michael Biehn
Michael Biehn is one of those actors who one would have expected to blow up and become a huge star; blessed with not only striking, rugged good looks but also having starred in two of the greatest action films of all time (The Terminator, Aliens), as well as Cameron’s visually lavish, ambitious sci-fi The Abyss. Despite being relegated to bit parts and straight-to-DVD fare, Biehn demonstrated a sublime physical presence in these films, cast in all three of his collaborations with Cameron as a soldier of some kind, and in The Abyss, convincingly opting for the villain over his more natural fit as the hero. It’s also important to remember that Biehn was considered for a role in Avatar, but James Cameron felt Sigourney Weaver already being cast in the film would remind people too much of Aliens.
While Biehn might suit the older military big bad role that Stephen Lang filled so well in the first film, one can’t resist suggesting he would be a snugger fit as the military hero that has defined his most iconic performances, a more altruistic version of Colonel Quaritch. Furthermore, if he is able to plug into an avatar during the course of the film, he’ll get to take part more convincingly in some of the action scenes, given his age, and I can’t deny wanting to see what a Michael Biehn Na’vi would look like. It’s easy to imagine him going out in a blaze of glory in the third act, perhaps saving the day, or providing Jake (Sam Worthington) with the means to do so.
This article was first posted on September 17, 2012