Cast Selected For Shyamalan’s ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 7:18 am,

air bender Cast Selected For Shyamalans Avatar: The Last AirbenderEntertainment Weekly is reporting that M. Night Shyamalan has picked some of the cast for his upcoming film, The Last Airbender.

The movie is based on Avatar: The Last Airbender, the popular animated series that ran from early 2005 up until this summer. The story was organized into 3 books (seasons) with each episode called a chapter. There are 20 chapters in each book with one extra in the final book making for a 61-episode run to tell the story and end it properly.

And that they did.

On top of winning an Emmy award and being one of Nickelodeon’s highest rated shows ever; the series spawned all sorts of merchandise including several video games – and now a potential feature film franchise.

Here is the cast thus far:

  • Noah Ringer, a karate star chosen from an open casting call in Texas will play Aang, the central character (the Avatar) of the story. Aang is the last of his tribe and the story follows him as he and his companions travel the world in search of trainers to teach him to master the four elements.
  • Nicola Peltz will play Katara of the Southern water tribe.
  • Jackson Rathbone of recent Twilight fame will play Katara’s brother, Sokka.
  • Jesse McCartney, the young singer, is currently in negotiations to play Zuko, the exiled prince of the Fire Nation.

I watched the entire series earlier this year and really loved it. It took a bit to get used to and there was a lot of corny stuff in the earlier episodes, but overall it was pretty incredible and it is on my list of greatest cartoons ever.

That being said, similar to my thoughts on the new Dragonball Evolution trailer, this will be very difficult to translate into live-action. Shyamalan’s recent track record hasn’t exactly been stellar, so I am eager to see if he can pull this off.

The first installment of The Last Airbender is due out on the big screen July 2, 2010.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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  1. I am by default interested because it’s Shyamalan, but like you said, it sounds like another Dragonball scenario. Can “obscure to the masses” anime really find a national audience?

  2. Same here Dan. Even if I hadn’t seen the show, I’d be interested to see M.Night adapt something that’s not his own and not some mystery/thriller with a twist.

    This could be a big turn-around for him after The Happening and Lady in the Water.

  3. I actually think this is quite a bit easier than Dragonball to translate to the big screen. At least the characters are a bit more down to Earth and there is a mighty fine story as well.

  4. “That being said, similar to my thoughts on the new Dragonball Evolution trailer, this will be very difficult to translate into live-action.”

    Just check “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” bubble scene.

  5. Really hope they DO NOT srew this. I loved the series, great to watch, a simple touch of magic/fantasy and a lot of great character development!

  6. Oh boy. Several of the students where I work are serious fans.

    Aaaaaand they just exploded with rage. This will be a long day.

  7. Yup, these fans are not happy.
    I think it’s more to do with the ‘How dare you touch my stuff’ side of things than the actual casting choices.

    This could go on for hours!

  8. Shyamalana-ding-dong hasn’t made an interesting (or good) movie since “Unbreakable.” I’m glad I never heard of this cartoon or I’d be ticked off he’s doing it too.

  9. I love anime, but as far as I’m concerned, Shyamalan lost credibility a long time ago. His ability to make a good movie is non-existent and I simply don’t have faith in the man anymore. And I’m likely to not see this. As I see Dragonball being a box-office and critical bomb. But who knows, I could very well be wrong and this’ll be a huge hit.

  10. This movie is 100% screwwwed.

    JESSE MCCARTNEY??? as ZUKO?!?!?!

    Seriously, there are thousands of other boys out there who actually look like zuko with the experience needed, and they pick HIM?!?!?!?!

    this movie is SCREWEDDDD

  11. You said it Kristin!

    Seriously?? Jesse McCartney?? The kid can’t even act. I hated him in Summerland. Zuko is such an important character that goes through the most development. And they want Jesse to play him??

    Jackson Rathbone as Sokka doesn’t sit right with me either.

    Thanks Shyamalan you truly outdid yourself.

  12. I dont know. I love the show and everything, and Im willing to watch the movie. I think those actors could pull it off. I mean, its not even coming out til 2010 so they have time to adapt themselves and get into character. But, we’ll just have to wait and see how it all goes. And personally, Im excited for July 2010 now!!

  13. Why is the cast so…..white? Katara and Sokka are supposed to be the Avatar-universe equivilent of Inuit (they’re portrayed as tan with black hair) and the actors playing them are PASTY. And Jesse McCartney…….? No. Just…no.

  14. If you’re disappointed and offended by this casting decision, you aren’t alone. If you want to help us do something about it, you can find more information here:

    Hollywood gets away with this sort of whitewashing because their audience lets them. Help us get our voices heard, and keep this from happening again.

  15. I’ve never seen Avatar but M. Night Whatamacallhim has been in a horrible slump since Signs. This doesn’t bode well.

    @Saving the World with postage
    I don’t mind them portraying ethnic characters with Anglo-Saxon actors as long as the film is good. Costner, I thought, played a very good Robin Hood without an English accent; the all-white cast of The Ten Commandments (1956) was superb even though the actual people were Africans, Jews, and eastern Islamics; and Jim Caviezel is a Catholic born in Washington but portrayed Jesus extremely well.

  16. Well its not really an anime per say because it is made by Americans but I can see why some are offended by what some are calling the “whitewashing” of the series.

    Personally I don’t mind the casting so much if they translate the themes of the series well but it makes me worried about how much effort they are going to even put into transitioning the Avatar universe into a film one.

    The original creators did their research. They did the leg-work. They hired historical consultants to help them fashion, they hired martial arts masters to work with their animators, they researched architecture & cuisine and in the end created one of the most nuanced, challenging universes in contemporary speculative fiction.

    I really really want this to work out but I fear something as cheesy as “Dragonball Evolution” in the end.


    please help us change the cast before it’s too late!

  18. WTF on all white cast on show about asian culture?

  19. I for one am a big fan of Avtar and Dragonball so I think it is goin be awsome

  20. yeah seriously, race doesn’t matter. they should make a movie about the life of george washington using all japanese actors. it’s the quality of the movie, yoo guyz!

  21. Haha… if they ever made a George Washington film with Asian actors… people would be outraged. Same thing for Avatar; it’s not fair. The majority of actors are white and when a film comes out based on Asian culture–they give the part to the majority? Well, if that’s not dumping on the little guy I don’t know what is. And please don’t pretend like race doesn’t matter; people who say that they are “color blind” are ignorant. Basically you are saying, “Hey I won’t acknowledge you cultural uniqueness.”

    But uhhh yea… thanks for trying.

  22. This is an outrage! Jesse McCartney? Really? Is the world running out of actors or something? I’m effing pissed. Zuko is one of my favorite characters, as this…this is not good. If he’s definitely going to be in it, I’m definietly NOT going to see it.

  23. Jesse McCartney? Really? No. No no no no no. This is NOT good. Zuko is my favorite character, and he’ll ruin him.

  24. oh…come on..!! seriously..jesse mccartney? the kid isn’t even an actor..!! and everybody else is white!! what now? aren’t asians good enough or people other than whites?!

  25. Not bad I think Shalman is doing well. Cast members pff!! James Wong had Justin Chatwin as Goku and so far I think he is doing well. I wanted more comedy from Goku. Avatar proably is going to be Dragonball all over agian. Now for Jessie Mcarney you know it a’nt official.

  26. I personally think that if the actor can do a good job, then why should it matter what their race is. Do they ever actually say which race the characters are? It happens all the time in different movies, they make characters the wrong race and it doesn’t neccesarily make it a worse movie. And isn’t it depending on their audition and how well they can portray the character? One thing I’d like to know is how do they plan on making Jackson Rathbone tan for this role, yet stay pale for his role as Jasper in Twilight?

  27. Prongsie, I must say that you are absolutely wrong. I, in fact, am an ENORMOUS fan of Avatar, but even I can get past how great it is and realize that the live action movie is indeed screwed. It’s going to be a complete failure if they don’t change the cast. And no one need ‘say’ what race the actors are; you can see it just by looking at them.

    I’m anxious–not excited–for 2010 now.

  28. OMGGG..WHERE IS TOPH?? YOU CAN’T HAVE AVATAR WITHOUT TOPH. She is a crucial part of the story and probably the one with the biggest fan base. OH PLEASE GOD DON’T LET THEM SCREW THIS UP. Why are the actors white??? I agree with some of you, Katara and Sokka are basically natives. Oh please don’t screw this up, it’s one of my favorite cartoons ever made AND one of the greatest.

  29. Toph isnt in the first season and so wont be in the first movie. She’ll come in the next one.