Slumdog Millionaire Star Cast In The Last Airbender

Published 6 years ago by

air bender prince zuko dev patel Slumdog Millionaire Star Cast In The Last Airbender

Yesterday, it was announced that Dev Patel, star of the hit Oscar-probable movie Slumdog Millionaire will be joining the cast of M.Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender. Just to clarify, the word “Avatar” was removed from the title to avoid confusion with James Cameron’s Avatar due out this December.

The good news is that Patel will be replacing singer Jesse McCartney to play the part of Prince Zuko, exile of the fire nation. As it turns out, young Mr. McCartney had scheduling issues that conflicted with shooting which is planned to begin in March. This I am sure, is a big relief to the many Airbender fans out there who made their outrage known about many of the initial casting decisions.

Jackson Rathbone, of Twilight fame, also had some scheduling issues with the shooting of New Moon but was able to work it out and he will be starring in both projects. Rathbone (who will play Sokka) and Patel will be joining Nicola Peltz (Katara) and newcomer martial artists Noah Ringer who will be playing the lead character, Aang.

This is a very good change in my opinion and it’s nice to see some non-Caucasian actors score a leading role in the project that’s been ripe with controversy with allegations of racist casting decisions for a story that is based on Asian culture.

Patel gave a solid performance in Slumdog Millionaire and I think he will play the part perfectly and look the part once in costume and with some hair modifications of course. Of all the characters, Zuko requires the most emotional range and acting skill to come off as the loved and hated character. I really hope this movie is done right and spawns a worthy trilogy – M.Night needs it and the fans deserve it.

What do you think of the updated cast for The Last Airbender?

The Last Airbender is due out in theaters July 2, 2010.

Source: Variety

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  1. Personally, I love M. Night Shyamalan and am excited to see this film once it’s made, but I’m not sure how I’ll like Patel as Zuko. True, I don’t think that McCartney would have been a good choice, Patel just doesn’t look how I thought Zuko should look…

  2. I also agree in part with Lil’s post a bit further up…

  3. im so exciting for the movie…..i want to watch dev patel as zuka… a fan..haha..

  4. the guy they had cast for aang looks like 7 yhears old and hes chuby with sh***y black penned on tattoos you can see pics on imdb soo bad and they cant even get zukos ponytail right like i mean wtf people it gonna be bad

  5. I’m glad that Jesse isn’t playing Zuko anymore. But Dev Patel…please. Dev’s a great actor but Zuko is my fav. character and I want him to be portrayed acuratly. He’s got thin black hair, a very sullin look on his face, and well he’s asian everyone knows where I was going with this. Zukos character should have been consitered more carfully. I like Noah Ringer though, good job with him. But please Zuko is almost everyones fav and a HUGE part of the plot, give his character another look for the sake of the veiwers, Devs a good actor but he just isn’t Zuko, he’s kinda the opposite…

  6. I HOPE!! those pale actor get tanned before shooting ahahaha!

  7. Okay, so I’m really excited about this movie. Dev, I agree with most of the commeners, should be played as Sukko. He’s got the humor, and the looks. But Zuko? Seriously? They should have stuck with the asian community. Or like Lil’s comment above, be japaneese. Someone like Jin Akanaishi, now there’d be a suiteable Zuko.
    I’m 99.99999 percent sure that Zuko is half of the viewers favorite. As it is mine. But, how are they going to do his hair? What if they continue it all the way to the third movie? Are they going to make his hair corectly? Hmmph.
    Oh well. I’m just happy that there is going to be a movie. And I can not wait for it to come out. My plan is to dress up as Katara or Aang :)

  8. Well, Hollywood is always being really racist to us asians anyway. I mean look what they did to Dragonball Z. There really should be, honest to god, more Asian actors, because, hello? Isn’t this an Asian story? Despite that, I actually really like that Dev Patel is Prince Zuko. He is a really good actor and he seems to fit the part. And I’m really curious to see how this will turn out. This is actually a favorite of mine and I wonder just how this trilogy will turn out with an extreme and distinct lack of Asians.

  9. dont think dev patel will be that good as zuko, really shud have had some of an chinese or japanese country in order to play him as they could do make it more interesting. his voice could cause a problem, although would say he is better choice than jesse mcartney, just hope they dont ruin it like how dragonball z was. hope m night can make it good, but if it aint to late bring in some people of east asian descent to do some of those kung fu type moves.

  10. i just don’t get why they didn’t use the actor who voices zuko..i mean i get that he is in his early 30′s but he looks young and is the voice of zuko.they didn’t even get the burn right on the eye of dev patel.whom ever is doing make-up needs to fix it!
    cooome on bring in dante basco!!!!

    im curious to see how it all unfolds though. i’ll still see it only cause i know the creators are working with m.night that kinda puts me at ease. i love the avatar and i hope that it turns out good.

  11. *sigh* this is gonna be… who knows. i mean seriously i can’t believe they even considered mcCartney – sorry but the guy’s white – you see that’s not gonna work. you gotta cast people that at least kinda look like the characters. and then there’s dave patel… guy can act but he’s middle eastern. couldn’t they get a cool chinese guy who can act? japanese, korean, whatever i don’t care.

  12. Zuko has hair in the movie… FAIL!

  13. casting sucks, zuko deserves better than this

  14. Avatar is such a visual series with a huge fan base- I can’t believe they would play in to the mainstream teenybopper commercialism and fill this movie with such a cast. I am a white adult with an eleven year old son with whom I love to have weekend long avatar marathons (needless to say we are huge fans) I am curious about the lead role- Noah Ringer is an unknown but he will be hairless and has martial arts abilities- so maybe. But the remaining cast is ridiculous. Zuko’s features are a part of his character- moody, sharp featured, very Asian- the bubbly round features of Dev Patel will do nothing for this character.Are they going to use Dante Basco’s voice? They really, really got nothing. The water tribe seems very Native American to me, but the kids they have as Sokka and Katara look like they came straight out of a GAP ad. I was really disappointed when I heard M.Night Shyamalan was doing this- he has a knack for taking things with a lot of potential and just flubbing the hell out of them.The bad thing is- there were a lot of questions left unanswered at the end of the NICK series that I have heard will be answered within the movies.I have also read the parts about it taking six years to finish the trilogy(?) because Shyamalan was writing them as he went. Writing what? He already has a perfect, extremely detailed story line- he just has to script it- this cannot take six years to do—unless he plans on using his trademark flub pen.

    • You americans always have problems with asians. What do you think about us.? The asians can act better than you ppl. So don’t comment if you don’t know.

  15. Am I the only person happy that jesse macartney wont be able to butcher the role of Zuko and that the part will be going to a talented asian actor maybe the wrong part of asian but it is still a step in the right direction.

  16. asi not asian opps sorry

  17. While i respect dev patel for his role in slumdog miilionaire it is plainly obvious that he was the incorrect choince for the recast of zuko in the upcoming avatar movie. Even with lots of makeup and hair alteration his height age and figure would not allow him to fufill the role properely. His nationality and trademark accent is not in line with the zuko character presented in the animated series. Because the character of zuko plays one of the most important roles in the avatar series the castes actor should be chosen more carefully and espcially not as the result of democratic action on behave of stiludios concerned with racial representation in the movies. M. Night should avod compromising the quality of his artistic vision for a unique fan base or studio representation and needs to focus n the bigger picture of what could becom epic film. M night if you have any queaions about casting reach us at

  18. I meant

  19. Hmm, hes better jessie macartney. im still meh on it. This movie will fail anyway. I guess ill see it for the lols.

  20. First things first, I love the avatar series!! Ok ok yeah I am an adult female. Seriously! It’s great! Now the bad news really M. Night Shyamalan?? They couldn’t find anyone else more capable? I hope they won’t have to wear foil on their heads.I was reading everyones comments and I must say I agree. This was a perfect time to use an all asian cast!! I mean come on, have these people seen the anime?? I’m not happy with the choice for Zuko’s charecter? I don’t know that Dev Patel can pull it off. What was wrong with Dante Basco? The other issue is that what at least drew me to the series was the dialog!! Very witty, Sokka was great I don’t know, as much thought and care that went into the anime, I just don’t know! Let’s hope for the best.

  21. Well if you are in support of this movie and don’t think that it is racist. You should join this facebook group !!!

    It supports this movie in veer way

  22. hey guys! i’m a filipino and i was just wondering why did shyamalan chose dev patel? sorry for patel’s fans out there. I mean he’s really a good actor but to play the role of zuko? are you for real? he doesn’t look like zuko anyway. plus zuko is not tanned in anime. a japanese would really fit for that. i really like zuko and they are murdering his role for the movie. that aang kid is great,katara? 50:50. sokka? 80 percent ok. anyway, they already made the casting. i was hoping that in the book 2, they should find a great cast to play toph, i really love her character. hoping too they would not torture her role.

  23. i agree with JT, stephanie and gb, Dante Basco wouldve been my first choice for Zuko. First of all, he already does the voice in the series, secondly, we know he can play that tortured, conflicted, angry kid well.. and he can do the martial arts stuff.. “rufio! rufio! ru-fi-oooo!!” ;p

  24. I think They SHOULD NOT have Dev Patel play Zuko…they should get an actor who looks more like him…n hotter… sorry Dev Patel but u jst dont cut the list to playing zuko..FIND SOME ONE BETTER….HE NEEDS TO B REPLACED.e

  25. Agreed, I reckon he would have made a much better Sokka.

  26. he's funny. he should have been cast as sokka. um also he's WAY to skinny to be Zuko. yeah zuko's not supposed to be some meat head. but its painfully obvious that they trying to make him look bigger with oversized cloths and drawbacks in the direction like this will really take people out of the movie. and where's appa? how r they going to get around??

  27. how about a cast were sun tribe are native americans from south america, water tribe natives from canada, fire nation japanese, or any asians, earthkingdom africans including middle easterns and air whit people then we would have no problems with racism race