Lynette Rice
September 14, 2010 AT 06:47 PM EDT

Image Credit: Mark Von Holden/Getty ImagesUPDATED 9/17 One of Hollywood’s preeminent baddies is joining Fox’s time travel drama Terra Nova.  EW has confirmed that Stephen Lang — last seen shooting up the blue natives in Avatar — will play the merciless leader of a prehistoric settlement in the drama that’ll bow next year. The project has already lured Jason O’Mara (Life on Mars) to play Jim Shannon, whose family is part of a group of settlers who travel back in time.

This summer, Fox announced that it’ll preview Terra Nova for one night in May 2011, but then will bow the drama officially in the fall of 2011. Fox decided to give the drama the same treatment it gave Glee, which was previewed last year after a May episode of American Idol and subsequently rolled out officially in the fall of 2009. The experiment worked: Buzz for the musical dramedy built over the summer and the show had an auspicious beginning.

Production on Terra Nova, which has yet to complete the casting process, isn’t expected to begin until October in Australia.

For more on Terra Nova:

‘Terra Nova‘: No sneak peek planned for Comic-Con

‘Terra Nova’ scores a director

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