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Friday, June 26, 2009

Upcoming: The Last Airbender (2010)


The Last Airbender is an upcoming 2010 live action fantasy film adaptation of the first season of the Emmy-winning animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender. The movie is the first film in the planned The Last Airbender trilogy. It will be marketed and released by Paramount Pictures, and Nickelodeon Movies. The series, influenced by Asian art, mythology, and various martial arts fighting styles, was created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. Adapted, directed, and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, the film will star Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, and Dev Patel as Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Prince Zuko, respectively. Filming began in mid-March 2009; the movie is scheduled to be released in The United States on July 2, 2010.

On January 8, 2007, it was announced that Shyamalan would write, direct and produce the live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, an animated TV series on the children's cable channel Nickelodeon, a series influenced by Asian art, mythology and various martial-arts fighting styles. The movie will be produced for Paramount Pictures' MTV Films and Nick Movies. The trade paper Variety later reported Shyamalan would film Avatar after The Happening.


(Slumdog Millionaire star) Dev Patel as Zuko

According to an interview with the co-creators in SFX Magazine, Shyamalan came across Avatar when his daughter wanted to be Katara for Halloween. Intrigued, Shyamalan researched and watched the series with his family. "Watching Avatar has become a family event in my house ... so we are looking forward to how the story develops in season three," said Shyamalan. "Once I saw the amazing world that Mike and Bryan created, I knew it would make a great feature film." According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Shyamalan will begin filming Avatar: The Last Airbender in May 2009; he will need four or five huge soundstages in the Philadelphia area to produce this film. On April 15, 2008, Paramount and Nickelodeon announced the official title for the film will be The Last Airbender. Also announced was the release date, July 2, 2010. The Last Airbender is currently the only movie announced for the July 4th holiday weekend of that year.

Controversy quickly arose over the casting of the film, an all-white cast for a predominantly Asian-themed show. The casting of these white actors triggered negative fan reaction marked by accusations of racism and a letter-writing campaign. On Martin Luther King Day, Derek Kirk Kim wrote a negative response to the allegedly racist casting, saying, "What if someone made a “fantasy” movie in which the entire world was built around African culture. Everyone is wearing ancient African clothes, African hats, eating traditional African food, writing in an African language, living in African homes, all encompassed in an African landscape...but everyone is white." Actor Jackson Rathbone dismissed the complaints, saying "I think it's one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan. It's one of those things where, hopefully, the audience will suspend disbelief a little bit."


The Last Airbender (2010) - Official Trailer #1 [HQ]



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