Wait, didn’t his character die in the first Avatar?

Stephen Lang, while promoting his upcoming horror film Don’t Breathe this weekend, confirmed some exciting news for fans of James Cameron’s Avatar. When asked about the sequel, the actor answered that the first sequel in a planned trilogy will begin shooting at the start of 2017.

Stephen Lang played Colonel Miles Quaritch, the main villain in 2009’s Avatar. He was killed during the film’s climax, but as both Lang and Cameron revealed, Quartich will return for the sequels, in “unexpected places.”

Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time in the United States, bringing in well over $2 billion in global box office sales. While a sequel was planned for 2014, the franchise was delayed then expanded into a new planned trilogy of films. Since the trilogy is being filmed all at once, Lang believes that production will continue well into 2023.

Avatar’s status as a box-office juggernaut stands at odds with the film’s perceived cultural relevance, or lack thereof. Still, an audience for the film is clearly there, and a film doesn’t accidentally find itself as one of the most successful movies of all-time. Film critics will have to wait until 2018 when the first Avatar sequel is slated to release to determine whether or not the success of the first film was a fluke or not.

Photos via 20th Century Fox