Archive for June, 2009
En route to its July 2, 2010 launch, the Avatar: The Last Airbender movie called The Last Airbender is quickly gathering hype, thanks to the trailer released recently. More than a year before The Last Airbender hits movie screens, the hit Nickelodeon series adaptation became a hit far beyond its original 6 to 11-year-old demo, no small thanks to its amazing and complete mythology and engaging storyline.
Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan, who takes the reins in The Last Airbender, tells If Magazine that he waited so long for something like Avatar: The Last Airbender, and it was kids who introduced him to the Nickelodeon animated series.
“I have always wanted to develop a long mythology based franchise like The Lord of the Rings,” he said. “But I had, until now, never found a good one where I could also add a little bit of my personal vision… I was offered other franchises, but passed. And then this one came from my own family – it was suggested by my children who loved the TV animated series. When I saw the cartoon I thought it was so well thought out in term of mythology. It had Buddhism, and martial Arts, and CGI [and it was] character based.”
Shyamalan adds that The Last Airbender will offer something more than a treat to the eyes, “but also for the mind and the soul.” He also said that the Avatar: The Last Airbender adaptation has “deeper issues” including genocide and balance and how everything is connected in the planet.
It’s an important movie, not just a blockbuster summer movie.”
Currently, The Last Airbender is the only movie announced for the July 4th holiday weekend of that year. It began filming in May this year, and he will need four or five huge soundstages in the Philadelphia area to produce the film.
My geek cred fails me here as Avatar: The Last Airbender is just one of those things I know very little about. The original series is available on Netflix Instant Watch, but the curse of being on the movie news wire is that time to sit and watch is pretty scarce.
So, I will have to rely on you Airbender fans to give your take on these first photos from USA Today (apparently it’s back to using the Avatar moniker despite James Cameron), and eagerly await your take on the controversy is raging around the film. Many fans are offended that M. Night Shyamalan didn’t cast Japanese actors. Others feel that’s an unneccessary sticking point as the world the characters inhabit is a fantasy one based on Asian culture, so that Shyamalan should be able to cast freely. Dev Patel just sits awkwardly in the middle of the debate — people are simultaneously annoyed he’s not Japanese and suspicious that the one non-white actor is cast in a villainous role.
Blissfully unaware of his unsuitability is newcomer Noah Ringer, who plays Aang. Apparently, he’s always gone by the nickname “Avatar” due to his resemblance to the cartoon character (he always sports a shaved head) and his lethal martial arts skills. He won the part after sending a home made DVD of himself … talk about an easy day for the casting director.
Give your thoughts, Airbender fans. And I promise, I’ll start watching the series this weekend … in the meantime, can you tell me what’s up with Aang’s hand?
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