Stephen Lang (Avatar) has been tapped for a recurring role on WGN America‘s drama series Salem. Set in the volatile world of 17th century Massachusetts, it explores what really fueled the town’s infamous witch trials and centers on Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery), the beautiful, ruthless but vulnerable wife of the ancient, ailing but very wealthy George Sibley (Michael Mulheren), one of Salem’s town Selectmen. Innovative Artists-repped Lang will play Increase Mather, an old-line, hard-core Puritan who led the way across the ocean to the Promised Land in the late 1600s. Intellectually, spiritually and politically, he’s the most influential man in the country — and the most feared. “Stephen Lang is a tremendous actor armed with an almost frightening knowledge of history and psychology — perfect for our twisted Salem, where Increase Mather is a man driven to monstrous deeds by the intensity of his convictions; and a loving father who torments his son precisely out of love,” said co-creators, executive producers and writers Brannon Braga and Adam Simon. “Lang is finding every layer of this character and showing us a few we didn’t even realize were there. A great addition to a great cast.” Lang is set to reprise his role as Colonel Quaritch in James Cameron’s Avatar sequels. His TV credits include Fox’s Terra Nova and HBO docu Love, Marilyn. Salem debuts at 10 PM Sunday.