The original movie was met with a very mixed reception but could The Last Airbender 2 still happen? Director M. Night Shyamalan has had a famously dramatic career arc. While Shyamalan had directed two movies prior to The Sixth Sense - Praying With Anger and Wide Awake - his 1999 supernatural thriller starring Bruce Willis is commonly mistaken for his debut. The movie was a huge success, featuring great performances, taut direction and one of the most shocking twist endings of all time.
Shyamalan would soon be labeled the heir to Spielberg following further hits like Unbreakable and Signs. Unfortunately, the critical bashing subsequent projects like Lady In The Water and The Happening underwent saw his career take a downward turn. He's reversed his fortune in recent years, however, thanks to the success of Unbreakables sequels Split and Glass.
One of the director's lesser-loved projects was 2010's The Last Airbender, an adaption of beloved animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. While it wasn't well-received critically the movie still proved to be a financial success, so is The Last Airbender 2 still possible?
Shyamalan Mapped Out A Trilogy
M. Night Shyamalan worked out a potential trilogy of films for The Last Airbender, where Azula, the daughter of Fire Lord Ozai, would have become the main villain. While the original film was a financial success it also received a resoundingly negative critical reception, which is probably why immediate plans for a sequel were placed on hold.
Shyamalan mentioned in a 2015 Metro interview he might get around to The Last Airbender 2 after finishing Split but also stated he felt frustrated working with source material that wasn't his own.
Shyamalan Regrets Making Last Airbender And After Earth
M. Night Shyamalan gave a lecture at NYU’s Stern School of Business in 2019 where he revealed his regret working on big budget movies like After Earth and The Last Airbender. To his mind, he made the mistake of pursuing bigger movies when he should have stayed true to his own voice. He also believes this is the reason the films were badly received since audiences could tell his heart wasn't totally in them.
The filmmaker self finances his own movies now to maintain creative control, with The Visit and Glass coming out of his own pocket. Considering his feelings on the subject of big-budget movies, this makes his return for a potential Last Airbender 2 extremely unlikely.
Netflix Are Making A Live-Action Remake Of The Series
It was announced in late 2018 Avatar: The Last Airbender creators Bryan Koniezko and Michael DiMartino would act as showrunners for a new live-action adaptation on Netflix. While no director or cast has been announced for this new series, its doubtful Shyamalan will have any involvement, or that The Last Airbender 2 will follow afterward. Given the generally negative reception to the 2010 movie, it's probably for the best the franchise will receive a fresh start.