Shyamalan Making ‘The Last Airbender’ As It Should Be?

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 22nd, 2013 at 5:29 pm,

the last airbender header Shyamalan Making The Last Airbender As It Should Be?

IGN and a few other sites were invited to the set of The Last Airbender recently and reported back on some positive and interesting things they got to witness and talk about with the director of the film, M. Night Shyamalan.

Most important to note is how he’s seemingly doing the project just as we fans wanted it made – with respect to the source material and with care attention to details.


M. Night had this to say about the project:

“It felt like an important movie [to make]… The mythology [of the series] was so well thought out and has Buddism and martial arts and… it has the deeper issues at its core. It’s going to be a really fun summer movie, but underneath it [there is] a seriousness that talks about genocide and balance in the world and all the things that interest me that you’ve seen in other movies I’ve made.”

The television series, titled Avatar: The Last Airbender (“Avatar” was dropped from the film title to avoid confusion with James Cameron’s project of the same name), was amazing in and of itself. It was designed in a very structured manner with a strong story and amazing character development. Even as a cartoon, the shots were almost set up as if it were theatrical making the show ripe for the picking to made into a feature film.

M. Night realizes this and I have high hopes that he’ll give fans and newcomers alike, something to enjoy and something that will redeem his career after bringing us some disappointing films in recent times.

Helping the director do justice to this movie in particular is not just the fans who want the movie done right, but his two daughters who are “obsessed” with the TV show and would probably disown their daddy if he ruined it. Shyamalan says he’s being “extra careful” with the major plot points and story elements. IGN mentions that this film has taken 2-3 times as long as his previous projects and that has to do with the extensive re-takes he’s forced in important scenes to have it done perfect and the vast scale of the project in general.

If this movie does well, which I certainly hope it does, we’ll get a trilogy out of it. If we all like it, M.Night should be at the helm for the sequels as well.

After seeing the teaser trailer earlier this week, I’m very happy with the little bits we were given and I can’t wait for more. That being said, we’ve really seen nothing in terms of acting or action so we’ll have to wait and see. And there’s still that controversy over casting decisions, so I’m interested in seeing how they perform in character.

Some other interesting tidbits that IGN brought up is that from what they saw and heard on set (and can’t talk about), if it all comes to fruition, everyone should be “pleasantly surprised” with the movie. The other neat info is that the Philadelphia-based set of the movie is the largest ever built on the east coast, built by hundreds and hundreds of construction workers – I imagine they’re investing long-term with the hope of filming future installments there shortly after this one debuts.

It’s interesting to see what came of the Dragonball movie when compared to this…

Is this a movie that should definitely respect the source material?

The Last Airbender hits theaters July 2, 2010.

Source: IGN

TAGS: the last airbender

30 Comments

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  1. I don’t know, I’m going to have a hard time forgiving M. Night after the mess that ‘The Happening’ was. I saw that after forgiving him for the hugely disappointing ‘Lady in the Water’. I keep hoping for another great movie from him but I’m not convinced he has it in him anymore. I hope I’m wrong.

    I have to say that this new trailer reminded me of an over the top spoof movie. I really expected the hood to come off and see someone like Jack Black standing there.

  2. @Melissa

    he could make up for the mess of the happening with a great airbender movie! How sweet would that be?

  3. I honestly didn’t have any problem with The Happening or Lady in the Water. I know he will do good with this, I’m sure his Daughters will be all over him to make a great movie.

  4. Yeah, there’s alot of Bhuddist stuff in Avatar. Also, some asians…..

  5. I haven’t been interested in movie movie by “The Shamm hammer” since “The Village”(thats the movie where I started calling him “The Shamm Hammer”)…..so hopefully this will be good.

  6. no credit for toph?!?!?

  7. i loved the happening(as did alot of my family/friends)and i thought lady in the water was okay

  8. @Voice of Reason – I do hope so, I guess I could forgive all else in that case ;)

    @hud – I thought lady in the water was okay too. I was just hoping for better. I totally don’t get the love for The Happening, but that’s just my opinion :)

  9. I also don’t have a problem with M. Night’s movies. I believe they are well thought out plots and unique. Yes, his endings sometimes leave me wanting more, but I have no problem with directors who do that.

    The Avatar is an amazing series with qualtiy animation. M. Night is a good choice for this movie and I can’t wait for its debut.

  10. I did not see either of those movies but I hope the director stays with the way they made it in the tv show. I thought that that series was very well written and should kind of be the same as the movie.

  11. the happening jus phailed cuz nothing happened ‘cept people committing suicide :-o that was it. but…an all white cast on an asian theme show? i dont really care that much lets jus see if its good or not.

  12. ‘Is this a movie that should definitely respect the source material?’

    Absolutely. Avatar is a seriously good show, especially as it goes on and grew into itself. Early on I just thought it looked good, but toward the end it was stunning.

    Loved the late episode where they watch the play. :D

    I get sceptical when directors and producers talk like this though. Heard it all before. We’ll see the respect in the movie, talking proves nothing.

  13. This movies is a shammm… it should have been cast with Asian actors. The story line behind The Last Airbender was based on Asian culture. M. Night Sham is a douche bag.

  14. Boycott this movie!!! Crappy Sold out director.

  15. Hey John, watch your mouth ok? M Night is one of my favourite together with Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson. And by the way, his films are really for this generation.

  16. I’m a huge fan of avatar and Shyamalan and i seriusly hope he dose make a mess of it 1. because it sounds like his daughters will never forgive him and 2. i’ll stop loving his movies (favorite is the happening)

  17. First of all, Toph is not in the first season of the show, so she will not be in the first movie.

    Second, I reaaaaallly hope this is good.

  18. Actually, no. I don’t think he’s making the movie as it should be. All the Asian/Inuit [at least based off it]culture you could want without the actual Asians huh.

    Oh wait, I’m sorry. I’m wrong, there are Asians, except they’re secondary and background characters. Oh, and also the “bad guys” of the film. Yay light skinned hereos saving us from those brown skinned menace! :]

  19. When i saw the teaser trailer i knew what it was right away..I watch the cartoon series all the time,, n it is kick a$$. N im sure he made the movie the same way,, all directors mess up on at least one movie give him abreak.. this movie is gona be big.

  20. ALL I HAVE 2 SAY IS: THANK YOU JEROME!!! HOW ON EARTH COULD A BROWN-SKINNED ASIAN INDIAN WHITE-WASH A MOVIE THAT SHOULD HAVE A MOSTLY ASIAN CAST!! JACKSON RATHBONE AS SOKU? REALLY? WITH THE EXCEPTION OF CHANGING JESSE MCCARTNEY (GAG) TO DEV PATEL, I THINK HE REALLY SOLD OUT!! BUT IN ALL FAIRNESS NOAH RINGER DOES LOOK LIKE AANG & THE MOVES HE DEMONSTRATED IN THE TRAILER SHOW THE KID MAY HAVE SOME SKILLS! BUT I’M STILL DISAPPOINTED IN MOST OF THE CASTING CHOICED. I BETTER HEAR THIS MOVIE KICKS MAJOR BUTT B4 I PLUNK DOWN MY 10 BUCKS!!

  21. In terms of the question asked…this movie should absolutely follow the series, and follow it well.

    I just finished watching all of it (I’m in Canada so we don’t get Nickelodeon) and I was very impressed with it. The story line and characters were so perfectly developed that this should be a screenwriter/director/producers dream because they don’t have much work to do – it’s all been done for them by the creators. The only thing I feel they would have to focus on is the translating some of the campiness and goofiness that is cartoon into live action. Many of the jokes and comedy in Avatar are pretty juvenile and require cartoon faces to truly pull off, so that will need to be translated into something more believeable. I only wish this was the second movie because I love Toph and loved Zuko much more in that season.

    I’m not even going to touch the casting. As a person of a visible minority, I can completely understand the upset that many have over it. But at the same time, I’ll give the movie a chance.

  22. “Is this a movie that should definitely respect the source material?”

    Yes, but unfortunately, with these casting decisions, it’s a complete fail.

  23. This movie definitely needs to respect the source material. Unfortunately, it has repeatedly failed to do so.

    Examples:
    - initally trying to cast all four lead roles with white actors
    - changing the martial arts associated with each bending style
    - removing Chinese calligraphy from the show entirely
    - changing the entire light skinned fire nation into dark skinned people
    - changing the entire dark skinned water tribe into light skinned people
    - changing main characters’ personality and/or motivation
    - changing the symbols associated with each nation

    These are not minor changes and are not likely to be the only changes. By the time this movie is release, I expect that it will not even feel like Avatar: The Last Airbender anymore.

  24. I think he’s trying to make more of a worldwide picture with this movie in order to atract a bigger audience. He did change the races but thats because people wont understand that the fire nation would lead a genocide against people of the same race and the same language.
    Atleast he kept people of the same race in each country.
    The fire nations indian, earth= chinese, and water is white. We can’t expect people who live in the poles to get good tans anyway.

  25. what software that you use for film avatar: the last airbender??

  26. WHY does this Indian man make Fire Nation Indian, against Earth Kingdom China? Unless…darker insinuations…?

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