Slumdog Millionaire Star Cast In The Last Airbender

Published 5 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

TAGS: new moon, the last airbender

59 Comments

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  1. i think he would’ve been better as sokka because 1) he looks more like him tham the white kid playing sokka 2) i’ve seen his british tv series skins and he can be very comidic and sokka is their for the commic relief so….

  2. I’m a big fan of Avatar, I watched all 3 seasons and the movies and absolutely loved it, I think it’s cool that they are making a Live Action version of it, but yes I want to Shyamalan to do the show some justice with a good adaption.

  3. Its always interesting to me how somebody who gets their first recognition from a low bubudget film
    suddendly ends up in a big project.
    Its just that they start doing something new and fresh and the next thing you know they are one of the pack.

  4. This is not a surprising move at all. You get a “hot” actor who altough hot, could still use the work and it’s kind of a no-brainer for this movie and director really. Shyamalan needs a hit like nobody’s business, maybe this will help. Did you hear about the Scorsese casting news?
    http://thefilmnest.com/2009/02/scorcese-taps-day-lewis-del-toro-for-silence/

    Not sure if you guys had this up on the site yet, so enjoy.
    The Rake

  5. A step in the right direction… but still not looking forward to this film as I have already lost all faith possible for M. Night Shyamalan… still we’ll see I might be convinced otherwise depending on how things develop from here.

  6. I think the story is too deep and the characters need more than one film to fully develop, like in the cartoon. I really hope it will be a trilogy. Book 1, 2, and 3 :P

  7. Dev makes a better Sokka than Rathbone.

  8. Not to be rude, but it just occured to me that apart from Dev Patel, I have not seen these actors in anything good. As for M. Night, well the last decent thing I saw of his was signs. I am not going to make a prediction about the quality of the film, but at the same time I am not going to hold my breath.

  9. @ Liam, viny,

    You’re both right and I think tons of folk share the same worry – This is a make or break project for M.Night to see if he can redeem himself.

    The actors not being in anything good before this doesn’t bother me at all, I think the point was to cast young non-established actors and I kind of like that.

    As for Patel for Sokka, he appears too old and tall for that role in my opinion especially if you saw him in Slumdog.

  10. Personally I don’t see why Dante Basco couldn’t remain on and play Zuko. He still looks fairly young. Yes they should make this a trilogy and not cram everything into 90 minutes.

  11. I still feel this is a racist thing. It now has a band of white kids who are the heroes against all those crazy minorities led by Patel. At the end of the trilogy the minority kid realizes the error of his minority ways and decides to follow the white kids. Also, these are special white kids because they are brought up by Asians in an Asian land because the only Asians on screen will be extras. This still seems like a big screw up, and it makes me even more upset.

  12. Well considering they are going with unestablished actors, they should be more open minded to the possibilities. I read over at ‘The Movie Blog’ that M.Night said that he was already looking at the Dev, even before Slumdog. Somehow that seems like a lie to me. In my opinion the casting should have been represtative of the actual characters. That would have been more inovative, and probably would turn out the same quality of movie.

  13. I don’t know why you make such a big deal out of this. The characters in the cartoon didn’t have strictly defined races. Now that someone hires actors for the film, of course they are going to belong to a certain race, like everyone in the world. But, no, suddenly, everyone is insulted. Well, boo, hoo, hoo. It’s such a hussle. This is a case of unneccesary racial sensitivity, like those stupid protests about the game Resident Evil 5, where you kill black zombies. Well of course you do, the game is set in Africa! Nobody complained that you shot mostly white zombies for the first 4 games. Sheesh.

    Relax. It’s a movie about a magical ninja boy in a magical kingdom. Don’t make it into a racist thing for no reason.

  14. Why my avatar doesn’t show? I registered.

  15. They did have defined races. That’s the crap thing. The four nations clearly differed and instead we get a bunch of white kids.

    He’s meant to be a really good actor, but would rather see someone harsher looking for Zuko. Also, I doubt they’ll get his whole arc in one movie. Not effectively anyway.

    So where’s the twist? ;)

  16. Steven, so what are the races? Name them What are the Earth tribe? What are the fire tribe? And the other two?

  17. Unfortunately Outlander isn’t playing anywhere within driving distance for me.

    Vic

  18. @HuggyBear

    Sometimes it takes a while to show up. Make sure that at Gravatar.com you’ve chosen an avatar that is rated PG or lower, otherwise it won’t display here.

    Vic

  19. Doh! I responded to the wrong thread re: Outlander. :-P

    Vic

  20. The Fire Nation had a japanese look about them. The Earth Nation were similar but not exactly so. The two nations, one small and strict, one more expansive and open, often felt like Japan and China.
    The Water Tribe were darker, suggesting eskimos. The Air Nomads we didn’t see much of, but certainly living in a small mountain range and meditating suggests Tibet.
    If you want names then those are the ones I would give. The show was very eastern with a heavy anime tone.
    However clearly there were different racial groups of people in their world – linked but with their own looks and cultures. Reflecting that would aid the recreation of that world.

  21. i wannna lick those guys mom’s pusas.what a bad movie as in bad aas this movie should have leighton meester who got her t t cut offff while running away from being picked on. kyle from csn should have his mochania thrown back into crystal lake because kyle is jason vorheees and has a mochania only a mother could love. pennn badgely got his t t cut offffffff during a drive by was cast here.

  22. As others have said, this is a step in the right direction, but we still have a LONG way to go. Particularly as Paramount refuses to acknowledge that any controversy exists to begin with.

    http://aang-aint-white.livejournal.com/3190.html

  23. Huggy Bear, I am not being racist. I understand the fact that it is just a movie. But the way I see it, why bother if you are not going to make an effort and be innovative. What I am saying is that if you are going to have a movie with a very traditional asian setting, then you may as well have a cast that fits in to that world. Especially if you are going with actors that are new to the industry. I mean the only people that have anything to lose are the movie company, and frankly that should not be very much anyway, since if the movie is anything like the cartoon then it is going to be very character driven.

  24. dev patel plays Zuko ,He doesn’t play Sokka

  25. @Jess, isn’t that what the article says??

    Anyway Huggy, please don’t group this with all of the other “unnecessary racial sensitivity” incidents as you call it. I agree with you, when people complain about killing black zombies when the game is in Africa is stupid. But when they cast a bunch of white people to play the roles of multi-cultured roles, that does seem like racism to me. Think about it, using your own example, you will see there is a huge difference. You said it’s appropriate to have black people in Africa since that’s the majority there. So basically,you’re saying it’s appropriate to have the CORRECT race for the situation no matter what that race might be. Well, if the cartoon showed these characters to be ethnic, then wouldn’t the appropriate races of them on the big screen be how they appeared on the show?

    Anyway, when was the last time you heard of Asians inappropriately complaining about racial inequality. Never, and I think that’s a FAULT of our race. Other minorities b**** and whine every chance they get and as a result some people in high places are afraid of them and are all too willing to give them what they want when they shouldn’t. But Asians get ignored because we rarely make a big fuss out of it. Have we demanded reparations for all of the Asians that were put to work building America’s railroads a hundred years ago? No…

  26. The movie we all know will be bad but seriously i Say he should have cast an eastern Asian cast only. it would fit the world of the show perfectly. this is slightly better

  27. OK, just saw the casting, and let me tell you I am a huge fan of the series and i am not pleased. Firstly, just looking at the characters I feel like the waterbenders should be played by native americans, they have darker skin and their culture is most similar to native americans of the north. Not to mention I feel like a japanese actor would be better off as Zuko considering Zuko is all about the traditional samurai code of honor. Dev patel? Are you serious? Zuko is pale and even looks japanese in my opinion! I think aang is the only character that could be indian do to hindu referencing. I hate it when live actions can’t even match up the obvious appearance of characters. I am not happy, I hope the series isn’t mutilated by this movie and it has a lot of impressing to do. Thus far, I am not pleased and have a feeling if I paid to go see it in theaters i’d be ranting the entire time. They better have a miracle worker on makeup and hair.

  28. Patel is too funny looking to play Zuko. He makes a better Sokka though. But then, he’s too tall for Sokka…EEErrr
    Whatever. Not looking forward to that movie anyway but i still remain an avatar fan with Zuko being my fave character.

  29. hmmpf..Dev petal is really a good actor. He is quite funny.It is true that he is better Sokka. But I think he can act as Zuka.Let just wait for the movie. Don’t judge Petal cause he is a good actor.Anyway, I’ll watch this movie cause im a fan of Patel, so ill wait that movie…

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