M. Night Shyamalan Finally Casts The Last Airbender
by Alex Billington
December 10, 2008
Although we haven't been actively following the project, M. Night Shyamalan's big screen adaptation of the Nickelodeon cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender has been gaining buzz due to its enormous fanbase. Entertainment Weekly claims to finally have the casting details for the film, which includes a handful of young and fairly unknown actors. But as always, we know that Shyamalan claims to want to find the right actors, not big names, and thus he seems to have chosen a few that fit the roles. Paramount is still developing this feature as a big franchise and is hoping to have the first of three films out in July of 2010.
After an open casting call in Texas, Shyamalan discovered karate star Noah Ringer and offered him the lead role as Aang. Twilight star Jackson Rathbone will play Aang's friend Sokka, while Nicola Peltz will star as his sister Katara. And last but not least, singer Jesse McCartney will play the evil prince Zuko. Our friends at SlashFilm have put together a great feature with comparison photos of the actors. The film will follow the 12-year-old hero Aang, an Avatar with superpowers who must stop the Fire Nation from destroying the world. We'll be sure to keep you updated on any photos that Paramount releases.
Reader Feedback - 48 Comments
Keep the good ones coming! It's not like 'Lady in the Water' was terrible or anything!
Tyler on Dec 10, 2008
dam this was such a shitty idea..hell i saw THE HAPPENING, and its kinda depressing if the actors and the dam movie goers couldn't tell ya WHAT WAS HAPPENING, so after that mistake im happening to keep my cash in hand till that ASS MUNCHING UNCLE FUCKER m. night redeems his self and gets me my refund....AND MAKING A MOVIE OUT OF A GREAT FRANCHISE IS INSULTING.....;-)
ill will on Dec 10, 2008
Lol, I liked this better when it was called Dragonball Evolution.
Brooke on Dec 10, 2008
Fantastic story, definitely deserves to be a feature film. However, I don't know how it'll be after the transition from 2D to film. And M. Night doesn't have me convinced as the right man for the job. ZUKO FOREVER!!!
FIRE-LORD on Dec 10, 2008
Oh wait, BULL. If Jesse McCartney is playing Zuko this will NOT BE WORTH SEEING.
FIRE-LORD on Dec 10, 2008
justin on Dec 10, 2008
I really hope this movie is good, the cartoon is one of my favourite series ever.
Crapola on Dec 10, 2008
Okay I have had no interest in Avatar the Last Airbender. It seemed like a cheesy, uninspired anime. I do like Dragonball however. Am I missing something? Since when was Avatar supposed to be good? And why is it getting better treatment than that horrible looking Dragonball movie?
Aldonn on Dec 10, 2008
Avatar is a surprisingly good show. It showed me up when I watched it expecting nothing, walked away with a new appreciation for this generation of shows on Nickelodeon. But not really because Avatar is the exception, not the rule.
Itri on Dec 10, 2008
Avatar is a fun and excellent story. Yep, it is American inspired by anime, but with American humor, so it translates better. Regardless, I don't know how I feel about a feature, but it'll take something special to pull it off. Also, it maybe garnering more attention, since it is relevant to a current series that just completed. Dragonball was created in the early 90's and faded from existence about 8 years ago.
L on Dec 10, 2008
It's amazing how White people are the minority on planet earth yet we keep getting cast as other races in films. It's disgusting!
Kent on Dec 10, 2008
All these white people cast in asian roles, this looks to be the next dragonball, oh wait it's m. night, the happening was the greatest movie ever (rolls eyes) so this is bound to be good!
Bo on Dec 10, 2008
WTF Manoj Night Shyamalan. WTF indeed.
Ace on Dec 10, 2008
Holy crap! This guy is still being green-lit to direct? I mean don't get me wrong, I liked Signs and the first half of The Village. But lately this guy is making just bad movies. Did anybody else notice in the movie, The Happening when there in that fake show house and there sitting at the dinner table and at the top of the screen you could see the microphone hovering over the actors.
The_Phantom on Dec 10, 2008
Jesse McCartney as Zuko?! It has to be a joke...it just has to be.
BC on Dec 10, 2008
ahem. . . . FUCK M. Night Shamawhataver. No credibility whatsoever, he's lucky he's stubbornly gotten this far. He may as well consult Uwe Boll for directorial advice.
Voice of Reason on Dec 10, 2008
M. Night, what the hell have you done now. What the hell are these hahoos doing in asian roles?! Is it so hard to find an Asian to play Aang despite China being the largest population in the world. He could even use Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean. SO MANY ASIANS and he goes and picks Jesse McCartney for Zuko. Why not just shoot the show in the back. Dragon Ball II it is then.
Hyacinth on Dec 10, 2008
I am disappointing in Mr. Shyamalan's choice of actor in the character zuko. That guy is a pop singer, not a fighter or a martial artist. His life has probably been full of social grace, where zuko's has been one of ineptitude. Great job on messing up what should have been great, already. I'd bet a million dollars (if I had it) that I could play the role much better.
Joshua Kellerman on Dec 11, 2008
Jesse Fucking McCartney? Is he serious?
John D. on Dec 11, 2008
I am sooooo worried about this flick. I love the television series and I do not want to see this effed up by (what a twist!) Shyamalan. As for the casting...meh...I'll wait till I see pictures of those people in costume before I decide if the casting sucks or not. I want the voices and the personalities to match more than I want the looks of the characters to match.
Jeep-Fu! on Dec 11, 2008
after "the village", "the lady in the water", and "the happening".........can it get any worse? i'd hope not, but were talking shyamalan here........so who knows.
dan on Dec 11, 2008
i'm stunned that the cast is in no way asian or mixed race, i think that's disgraceful and inexcusable
fanboy d on Dec 11, 2008
Oh, will you people get over it, already? These movies are aimed at kids and early teenagers; a group that could honestly less care about race. It's all of the older kids and adults that make race an issue. I myself am old enough to not be part of their main target demographic, and I honestly could care less about the race of the actors as long as they can pull off their roles to atleast decently mirror their show counterpart. Seriously, it's only an issue because you're making it an issue. The damn creators of the show are producers for the movies, everything will be fine. They're not going to let their beloved series get bastardized.
Random guy whom is never coming back on Dec 11, 2008
I liked the Village... I haven't watched Avatar so I don't know if it's good!
BaDGuY on Dec 11, 2008
If you haven't watched the cartoon series and are the least bit curious I highly reccomend you do it. And if you have kids that like cartoons, even better. This is the best series I have ever watched on TV and as a 33 year old partially grown up adult I was more eager to watch this than Mikey and a bowl of Life cereal. It has elements in it that range from the fun of children to zen budhism. I was sad that it ended and pleased at the quality of finale. As i've said before in other post my biggest fear about this is M Smahalmanaans ability to destroy something with more potential than the prom queen on her first date! His last couple films blinded me for at least three weeks each time with nausea, heartburn, indegestion, upset stomach, diarrarhea. I only wished during The Happening it had happened to me! Bad movies aside I hope he comes around with this one because I started to write ideas for filming benders...I hope that his are better than mine so I won't be upset with not getting to do mine.
Darren on Dec 11, 2008
why does every one bitch about all the movies that come out on this site? i meen its like every movie i see at least fifty people are bashing it and saying its gonna suck. its people like you that make movie fans like me want to plan a come to every one of your houses and find out that your some 12 year old punk who thinks you know every thing there is to know about movies and then stick a 2 by 4 up your ass. stop bashing movies before they come out, give a movie a shot and then if it sucks bash the hell out of it.
tired of bullshit on Dec 11, 2008
@26 Couldn't agree more. This site, the majority of morons that post on it, even the so called "professionals" that run it and or work on it have gotten so bad over the last few months. It's like a movie can't be enjoyable unless it's Oscar worthy or something to these people, and it's just pathetic. They even bash it before it's even started filming, or before anyone has even seen it. And no, this isn't just about this movie, it's about a whole bunch that i've been reading about on here. Can't go one news story without someone sucking an Oscar-contender movie's ass dry, or trashing any other movie that comes out into oblivion. Enjoy the movies, people, stop trying so hard to think of reasons to hate them.
Random guy that lied and came back, but really isn't coming back this time. on Dec 11, 2008
Shamalamadingdong will be able to entertain and pull us in through probably 70% of the movie, and then totally blow it at the end. He seems to have a great ability to tell a story, but can't finish one for shit!
Nick Sears on Dec 11, 2008
The casting for this movie have got to be a joke. My hopes for this film have been instantly crushed.
Anthony on Dec 11, 2008
Well... Why are you reading the comments? Mmmm... Everyone is entitled to an opinion! So what if they don't like the director, actor, or just think the idea sounds stupid. It doesn't effect you on if your interested or if you plan on seeing it! In fact you didn't even comment on this subject, all you did was bitch about the comments! With that in mind, this idea sounds terrible! He just makes good trailers to get your hopes up!
Bigfoot's got an itch. on Dec 11, 2008
Wow, I didn't know that Avatar took place in Pennsylvania...
Buzzard on Dec 11, 2008
OH HECK NAW. JESSE MCCARTNEY? seriously?
ayee, its faye on Dec 11, 2008
I'm personally pissed about this choice of casting but luckily some awesome person has created a way for us to do something about it: http://aang-aint-white.livejournal.com/646.html Write a letter, save a movie!
but can't we have nice things? on Dec 11, 2008
Wow. I expected better of Shyamalan. He casted a caucasian girl to do the role of a dark skinned dark haired girl. (and those screenshots on slashfilm.com have been lightened in case anyone is wondering). Unreal. With so many minority actors and actresses in need of acting roles, two more roles that could have gone to minorities are given to white people. http://www.backstage.com/bso/news_reviews/other_news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003529253 Unreal. Thank you Hollywood. Once again you fail to reflect the diversity in this country. Worse you use a film based on a series that heavily borrows from Asian culture, Asian costume, Asian martial arts and Asian philosophy. All that tells me is that Asian culture is good enough for your stories, but Asian people are not good enough for your films. I totally expected better of Indian-American Shyamalan, being an Asian minority himself.
Jessie on Dec 12, 2008
If kids don't care about race, then why does the race have to be white? Across the board, white? White does not equal "neutral." Whites have an ethnicity and culture too. Otherwise why didn't we see an all-Fillipino Lord of the Rings? C'mon, a black Aragorn, right? It would work, right? It's fantasy, it doesn't matter, right? Except it matters a whole lot. As Shyamalan should know better than anyone, since he discovered the show because his two brownskinnned daughters introduced him to it, because they wanted to dress up as Katara, because she looked like them. Not all the kids (or adults) watching this show are white.
Jacintha on Dec 13, 2008
Seriously...Like I can live with justin ratheborn and that girl playing katara. But Jesse McCartney, has a good voice i'll give him that, but him playing zuko...FAIL. Jesse McCartney was the farthest thing from my mind when i'd think of someone playing zuko. What next M.Night Matthew McConaughey playing Ozai.
avatard4life on Dec 15, 2008
You are just going to mess up the movie if Jesse is Zuko. Please don't make Jesse Zuko, there are so many people out there, who look more like Zuko and could played Zuko better. I hope you are just joking around with us when you say Jesse is going to play Zuko.
lazyhearts4 on Dec 17, 2008
http://aang-aint-white.livejournal.com/646.html please help us to stop this and change the cast !
/facepalm on Dec 19, 2008
ok... enough who made him the director... shoot him i watched the entire series from beginning to end with my son. I loved it he cast who as Zuco... maybe he should lay off the crack pipe before doing this movie
HeathB on Dec 29, 2008
jesse mcartney as zuko? you have to be kidding he doesnt even resemble him the least! i say recast.
amanda on Jan 6, 2009
@23 The fact that it was a show made for kids should be all the more reason to add some ethnicity to the movie. Think about all those kids growing up watching all movies and shows with all-white casts and then asking themselves why they have to be different. I know being PC gets out of hand sometimes but the Avatar is a show based on multiculturalism. Casting the characters as White, caucasian, tanned, and Pop singer is being multicultural. http://aang-aint-white.livejournal.com/1007.html
Viet-Dude on Jan 9, 2009
WHO IS Noah FREAKIN Ringer
L Lawliet on Jan 13, 2009
NOT JESSE MCARTNEY!!!!! NNNNNNNNUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!
Katey on Feb 4, 2009
You guys are really crazy. So what if they have the"wrong" races? If the actors are talented, it shouldent matter. You should not judge a book by is cover...or in this case a movie by its screenshots. M. Night is a great director and yes..it requires THOUGHT to unerstand his films, but I have confidence in him ad this movie. Don't agree with me? Tell me and I will personally engage you in a little spat.
Rose on Jun 27, 2009
Personally I think race plays a role because of the race of the characters in the original show. And at least Jesse McCartney is cute and talented, but have you seen the new guy? Definitely not Zuko, but whatever. Also the audition form said that no experience was necessary, so the acting ability probably won't be awesome. A very important factor now is the chemistry. As long as the people can work well together, then this will be good. Though I'm pretty sure I don't like how he changed the symbols of all the nations. I mean I get that it's his own adaptation but the symbols he created look a bit stupid to me. Anyway, I'm looking forward to this. Also, why are some of you coming here just to slam him? I'm all for opinion but that's just low. Not to mention pathetic. I mean really, for some people this is their life (giving positive onions and taking part in sharing thought about many things). Why must you regurgitate your deep-throat upon the people who care?
Lady Tigereyes on Aug 14, 2009
And #33, if you've seen the cartoon, Aang was totally white. Surely you don't think that the Kyoshi warriors are black (I mean no offense, I'm just making a statement, I did not create colors, that was God).
Lady Tigereyes on Aug 14, 2009
im really peeved they chose mcartney!!! i mean SERIOUSLY!!!!! not good
LaurenMarieEE on Oct 4, 2009
does anyone know anything about the last airbender auditions for katara cause i really want to audition for her!!!!!!
Meh Meh on May 26, 2010
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