Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

Brace Yourselves!! Shyamalan Is Now Casting THE LAST AIRBENDER!!

Merrick here...
Seems M. Night Shyamalan is well into casting THE LAST AIRBENDER, his adaptation of the recently concluded Nickelodeon animated series.
After an open casting call in Texas, Shyamalan discovered karate star Noah Ringer and offered him the part of Airbender's 12-year old hero, Aang, an Avatar with superpowers who must stop the Fire Nation from destroying the world.
...says THIS POST at EW, which goes on to reveal further casting from the film. THE HAPPENING was breathtakingly idiotic in too many ways to count, and represented some of the most hilariously awkward and inadequate filmmaking seen in a long, long time. After LADY IN THE WATER and THE HAPPENING, I'm surprised M. Night's being allowed to remain attached to 1) a potential trilogy launcher, and 2) any project that has even a moderately high profile. We'll see, and I want to be wrong here, but I smell stink.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:18 p.m. CST

    spoiler

    by frankenfickle

    it turns out it's all happening in a SNOWGLOBE!

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:19 p.m. CST

    M Night Who?

    by Kentucky Colonel

    Is he still allowed to play in the Hollywood sandbox? Ewwww....a cat turd!

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:20 p.m. CST

    I don't know anything about this property

    by Charlie_Allnut

    Is it good? Sounds like generic anime type stuff which isn't really my thing. M. Night should be doing low budget thrillers or an action movie or something along that line. This sounds like its going to put nail in the coffin of his career.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:24 p.m. CST

    airbender get bent

    by thinboyslim.

    really merrick?? you think this is moderately high profile. he's casting unknowns in a adaptation of a little to unseen cartoon. the only reason this ever had any press was because of the name change from avatar for obvious reasons.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:26 p.m. CST

    article with pics

    by mr.brownstone

    http://tinyurl.com/5zsg57 <p> you really need the pictures of the cast to get the full effect of what Shyamalan is doing here.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Uwe Boll cast as Shyamalan

    by beetlegeuse

    why is he still making movies, seriously,i won't go see this. Why? cuz its directed by Shyamalan

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Is it just me or...

    by Inglorious Bastard

    ...is Merrick one of the most pre-judgmental contributors to AICN outside of the talkbacks. I'm no M. Night lover and I've never seen Avatar, but seriously there isn't a shred of anything out there for this movie yet, lighten up a little.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:27 p.m. CST

    After Signs I vowed to never see another M. Knight

    by wuher da brewer

    I hate that stinking director. I wish he would leave Hollywood and join a monastery or have something else take him away from directing forever.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:29 p.m. CST

    "HAPPENING was breathtakingly idiotic".

    by mr.brownstone

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:29 p.m. CST

    maybe

    by goingsomewhere8

    this is the direction he needs? to get him off his confusing tangent of wanna-be originals. I'm hoping. I used to look forward to his films.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:29 p.m. CST

    M Night's Career = Over

    by SomaShine

    just sayin

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:34 p.m. CST

    M. Night?

    by Animus

    More like M. Piece Of Shit Hack. I sure hope this movie does well as I used to love his movies.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:38 p.m. CST

    A sensible move for M Night

    by palimpsest

    Make a franchise-friendly family movie. Prove you can helm a project. Deliver something competent and moneymaking then. Then get back on the fucking horse. He should have been taken out and had a stern talking-to after SIGNS, which is the dumbest film ever. But no, it took a further three, and increasingly woeful, movies for the suits to see the game was up. Hopefully this'll signal a return to form.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:41 p.m. CST

    You'd think by now thought he'd of cast himself

    by blindambition238

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:41 p.m. CST

    NO BUYS~!

    by Super Rabbi

    F4W

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Shymalan or not, but will audiences watch Avatar...

    by DerLanghaarige

    ...if it doesn't look like an anime? That's the only reason why this bad cartoon was succesfull: Because kids will watch anything that looks like Anime.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:49 p.m. CST

    At least M.Night didn't create Avatar...

    by DEX

    ... he's just adapting it, so the writing, hopefully, won't be quite so bad. For those who don't know, Avatar: The Last Airbender is a great, epic family cartoon with plenty of action. In my opinion, it has some of the best animation ever created for American television - it's worth checking out. The real controversy is M.Night's all caucasian cast when the characters are all Asian in the show. M.Night probably has to bow to the studio's wishes on this matter, since his movies have tanked lately.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:54 p.m. CST

    I second Dex

    by mukhtabi

    Avatar: The Last Airbender is an amazing artificial martial arts/asian mythos. It made for three seasons of a breath-taking anime style cartoon. I think if anything can save Shyamalan's career, creating this film will. Especially if he remembers the right way to direct children is to treat it as play and captivate their imaginations in these roles.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Looks like a BLUE-RAY rental to me...

    by Mike_D

    Harry will never live that line down.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Everyone's dead already! What a twist!

    by Squashua

    I only watched 10 mintues of Lady in the Water before I sent it back to Netflix.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Its a shame they are doing this

    by kendragon

    I dont think it was necessary to make this into a live action movie. The animated series was brilliant but I cannot see this working.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:06 p.m. CST

    A series of sucky movies and suddenly... A HIT! What a twist!

    by Yotz Von Frelnik

    I'd like to see THAT story!

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:10 p.m. CST

    I admit to watching Nickelodeon for this cartoon

    by Beowulf316

    The cartoon is phenomenal. When my friend recommended this show to me after watching it with his children I mocked him for watching Nickelodeon, but then I was home with the flu and caught a marathon of it and I was hooked. The thought and effort put into this cartoon is incredible. The character development was good, plots and settings were great. It was designed to be a three season trilogy with a complete story arch and the fictional world it takes place in approaches Middle Earth in its scope. Way better than anything I got to watch when I was little. I don’t know if a movie can do the cartoon justice.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Does anyone really care about this guy anymore?

    by DarthJedi

    His movies are so moronic that anyone who is surprised by his so called 'twists' has the IQ of fucking ringworm. Keep on making crap M Night. I'll continue to laugh at the idiots who pay to see 'em.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:18 p.m. CST

    People seriously need to stop hating on M. Night

    by TiVo1138

    At least he's talented and has up until now, stuck with his own original ideas. <br><br> And Shyamalan said himself that with The Happening, it was supposed to be tongue in cheek and a nod to '50s B-Movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, THEM, and The Blob and paranoia classics like The Birds. <br><br> More filmmakers should follow his lead. <br><br> And those thinking that "one more failure and it's over" seem to have no understanding of this shit works. And The Happening opened well above expectations and went on to make its money back. His only money-loser has been Lady in the Water. <br><br> I really think people bash on M. Night simply because it's the thing to do.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:18 p.m. CST

    I still think the movie should be called Avatar.

    by DisneyFanatic

    Cameron's just a pussy who doesn't want his little 1995 fanfic to be infringed upon. Because he copyrighted a word. A WORD!

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:21 p.m. CST

    I thought these characters were Asian?

    by DeadPanWalking

    The entire cast is white micky mouse club-type kids. They're even in talks to cast a pop singer as the main villain, hahahaha.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:27 p.m. CST

    I bet he'll do a good job with this. Just a hunch...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...take a break from his own stuff and get loose with a kiddie flick for a while...

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:30 p.m. CST

    DeadPanWalking

    by DisneyFanatic

    Zuko's not a villain, but simply the anti-hero lead. As awesomely badass as his character was, I'm not at all thrilled that he's being played by Jesse McCartney.<p> However, the Katara and Sokka actors look reasonably right on. As for the Aang actor, no picture, no opinion.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:31 p.m. CST

    you all are just too depressing...

    by DrBrianOblivion

    these past 6 months have got too be the most negative months ever on this site. I think it was yesterdays roots/jimmy fallon tb that proved that theres two distinct schools that visit and respond. One group genuinely enjoys talking movies/tv/music and that group will be following moriarty to his new site. The rest will be the 30 something grey bushes who are terrified of younger people and new trends because they pose some risk to their safe little misery bubble. Its fucking pathetic. They always fall back on the same tired cliche of something older always having to be better. To hear some middle aged REO speed wagon fan saying that theres no modern hip hop better that grandmaster flash almost caused me to go into a coma. It just shows how out of touch your opinion is. Thats like saying that super mario brothers for NES is better than gears of war 2 just because it came out first. Technology changes. Art forms advance. Fucking move on. Just like me and i'm sure thousands of other people who read this site and usually don't respond will do. You all bring nothing to the table with your constant wave of negative comments that start of like a snowball where one person tries to outdo the next with the most idiotic unfunny vitriolic string of shit. God i hate you guys....i feel the negativity building...must not become like them....RUNNNNNNNNN

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Avatar the animated series...

    by Alifemde

    Is absolutely fantastic. I'm one of the converted -- I used to openly mock it for its wanting to be a real anime so, so bad, but then I sat down and watched it. The last season is one of the best (most dramatic, best written) and most consistent full seasons of anything. <p>You people who claim to have an open mind need to get over the fact that it's "just a silly cartoon" and just sit down and watch it. Good is good. Avatar is great.</p>

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:42 p.m. CST

    M Night hating should stop, but stop the dick sucking too

    by awepittance

    "And Shyamalan said himself that with The Happening, it was supposed to be tongue in cheek and a nod to '50s B-Movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, THEM, and The Blob and paranoia classics like The Birds. " i was with you man totally up until you said this, this is just simply making excuses for poor filmmaking. To Compare The Happening to any of those great films is laughable. M Night messed up plain and simple but that doesn't mean his talent is completely gone. I think Unbreakable is one of the finest films ever made and Lady in the water is badly rated because it went over too many heads, it was much more original movie than people give it credit for.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Re: Inglorious Bastard

    by awepittance

    nope you're right, Merrick often does come off as a dick

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:47 p.m. CST

    TiVo1138

    by TVguy4566

    If The Happening was supposed to be a tounge-in-cheek tribute to paranoia movies of the fifties, I think he failed even worse than I thought he did. I didn't hate the movie nearly as much as most did, but I never saw it being very tounge-in-cheek nor much of a tribute to 50 sci-fi movies (paroid or otherwise). I just thought it was a fairly mediocre movie that might have been better with a better script and acting. <br><br> I don't believe more filmmakers should follow his lead because other than the Happening, M. Night has relied far too heavily on the Twighlight Zone gimmick twist at the end of his movies from The Sixth Sense on. His movies have really become all about people going to see what the twist will be at the end which basically lost any sense of being shocking or interesting since the Sixth Sense. Maybe a movie like The Village would have worked better if people didn't go into it waiting for the Shyamalan twist at the end. Maybe it wouldn't have come off as a lame Twighlight Zone episode if people didn't see the twist coming a mile away since everyone was looking for the twist. Even The Happening had a bit of twist at the end of the movie although it wasn't as grand and gimmicky as his previous movies.<br><br> M. Night will never be a great film maker until he can discipline himself to make a movie that doesn't need to rely on cheap gimmicks to get his point across.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:48 p.m. CST

    So is anyone in this movie Asian?

    by drewlicious

    I can scarcely think of a better opportunity to remain close to the source material. The concept alone sells the movie and to make is almost nothing but white kids just seems transparently gutless and insulting. I think the audience has the capacity to accept Asian stars playing Asian characters. This isn't like Akira where we can change a continent and accept the change in the ethnicity. I have no idea what Shyamalan is going to do with this. I just watched the happening and I couldn't stop laughing at Wahlberg bargaining with the sinister looking houseplant.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:55 p.m. CST

    re:drewlicious

    by awepittance

    yeah its kind of shocking, M Night being an indian american himself would change the entire cast to be white kids. Im a fan of some of his films and im actually quite relieved that he's not writing this story and just directing. I think it will be a great change for him, similar to Tarantino doing Jackie Brown.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:55 p.m. CST

    That sure is a lot of white folk.

    by Kurutteru Yatsu

    Having said that, I already have more hope for this than Dragonball.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:58 p.m. CST

    prejudging

    by Toonol

    M Night has made both great and bad movies. He is undeniably talented. I'm far more interested in anything he might put out than, say, the next stupid sex comedy Apatow puts out.<p> Avatar was an impressively well done show. I hope that M Night working within the constraints of a pre-existing franchise will stop him from repeating the mistakes he's made recently.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Every director has a stinker or two or three.

    by knowthyself

    Spielberg. Scorsese. Come on give the guy a break. Nobodys perfect.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:03 p.m. CST

    RE: you all are just too depressing... by DrBrianOblivion

    by Danger Vole

    While I think it's pointless just being cynical and poo-pooing everything new or remade, I do think it's totally valid dissing this, if only to vent frustration about how something you love is being interpreted with questionable judgment. I watched this show religiously. It was excellently executed. One of the best shows on TV, animated or otherwise, with a profound anti-war, anti-xenophobia message. The writers of the TV series where more qualified-- and there are infinitely better directors who could have taken the project on-- who don't have a terrible track record. The final blow, in an unbelievably racist move is to take these characters who were Asian and make them all white. It basically undoes the entire aesthetic of the show (an entirely Eastern World). In a culturally changing America, it seems really fearful and not at all progressive.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:12 p.m. CST

    This is Going To Be Big!

    by Aquatarkusman

    Gabby Hayes-big!

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:15 p.m. CST

    This movie will work only if

    by kafka07

    Shyamalan films the scenes to be excessively long and drawn out, with lots of awkward silences. Oh and don't put any Asians in it either. And throw any inkling of common sense or practicality out the window.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Damn You Michael Bay

    by MCMLXXVI

    Damn You Michael Bay

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:30 p.m. CST

    6th sense was ok, unbreakable i like...everything else

    by FleshMachine

    bad films.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:33 p.m. CST

    My balls....

    by Gunslinger1919

    ...crawled up into my belly and shrank several sizes before taking a shit and descending when I read this. Why in all fuck do people keep giving this many money??? Why, why, why? Based on his last few movies he better be getting paid MINIMUM FUCKING WAGE to make this thing.... --G

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:37 p.m. CST

    WTF...

    by Gunslinger1919

    ....just as an addition...he's fucking casting caucasians in a property that's asian driven...didn't anyone learn anything from fucking Harry Potter? --G

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Negative comments and anger. I blame it on the worlds economy.

    by andrew coleman

    Seems people just are pissed off in general about life. As everything falls apart movies are still doing very well. Because people don't want to think about what is happening in the real world. So coming on and bitching like crazy about movies allows many to vent their personal angers at people and things that don't matter. Like are you guys really this pissed off at M. Night directing this movie? Who cares. White kids casted who cares really because even in the cartoon they look like mixes of all races so a little make up and boom it doesn't matter. So those reacting to all these negative whinners just remember, they are having a bad time and just venting. Let them do it.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Who is still financing this tosser...

    by BiggusDickus

    ...and how do we get them to stop?

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:46 p.m. CST

    There's only one movie called AVATAR

    by kwisatzhaderach

    and it's coming from Iron Jim.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:50 p.m. CST

    (clear throat)...

    by HoboCode

    Fuck you Merrick...and the horse you rode in on.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3 p.m. CST

    yea i hear ya spectre

    by DrBrianOblivion

    ..its just so fucking draining...cause i like sites like these and want to see discussion and I tell myself..ok..just dont click the link and scroll down but its become like a bad habit...

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:01 p.m. CST

    RE: Gunslinger1919. If there's anything to be learned from "fuck

    by thefrood

    It's always use a lubricant. Ouch!

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Hey where'd the rest of my headline go???

    by thefrood

    Ruined a perfectly good "Fucking Harry Potter In The Ass" gag godammit!

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Why am I the only one...

    by Royston Lodge

    ...who LIKED Lady in the Water? I really really enjoyed it! I liked it a HELL of a lot better than The Village, which was just one big long running plot-hole.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:10 p.m. CST

    How Is It...

    by Sean38

    ...that he's getting WORSE at his craft with experience and not better?

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Dakota Fanning as Ang

    by Damien Chowder

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Actually.. knowing him he will cast himself as Ang.

    by Damien Chowder

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:17 p.m. CST

    re: why hes getting worse

    by DrBrianOblivion

    I feel like his problem is that with his earlier films he relied on borrowing a lot of visual weight from speilberg and hitchcock. Now he's bought into the whole im an artist thing and instead of going what would spielberg do hes going what would m night do and unfortunately m night doesnt always know what to do.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:29 p.m. CST

    M NIGHT "can't do a film without a twist" Shyamalan

    by Damien Chowder

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:31 p.m. CST

    The Last Air Bisquit

    by Fa Fa Fooey

    Now that I would see.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:37 p.m. CST

    It's like he never made 'The Sixth Sense'

    by Heckles

    “Fuck this guy! How dare he not make awesome films every single time!” <br><br>While I like each film progressively less, I don't see ‘The Happening’ as overly terrible. Not good. But Shyamalan has the potential to make great films again. So, erratic, malcontent fanboys should stop seeing his movies so they have nothing to bitch about. Wait until he eventually (hopefully) makes another great movie, AICN tells you about it, then you crack the piggy bank and sling $10 for a viewing.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:41 p.m. CST

    It's over!

    by mos6507

    How does this guy manage to stay employed??

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Awepittance

    by frozen01

    "I think Unbreakable is one of the finest films ever made and Lady in the water is badly rated because it went over too many heads, it was much more original movie than people give it credit for." <p>Thank you... It's nice to know I'm not the only one who liked that movie. It wasn't award-worthy, or anything, but it was pleasant modern escapism... nice to think that fairy tales could still happen even in these cynical times. I liked the characters, too, and Paul Giamatti has my seal of approval anyday (absolutely brilliant in John Adams).

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:50 p.m. CST

    The whole "they're not casting Asians" thing.

    by Amy Chasing

    I always thought Avatar was set in an Asian-influenced world, but it's a fictional fantastical world. It's not Earth. So the clothes, architecture, food, etc. all have Asian influences, but the people can be looking like anything. <P> Then again, in most popular anime (even American-anime for lack of a better term) everyone has big eyes and looks (again for lack of a better term) white. It's everything else that makes the world look Asian (I personally think the score has alot to do with it). <P> Let's face it, even if the cast looked Asian it'll still be a Hollywood cast. Question is, when is the live-action Venture Bros. movie being made?

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:51 p.m. CST

    He didnt write it

    by Omegaman

    Thats why it has a chance to be at least decent. I dont know much about this series, but Im sure all Shamalan has to do is adapt it. He could probably screw that up too, but not as bad as if its his own story entirely. Still Ill be hoping it bombs. He's the most overrated, overhyped filmmaker in history imo.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:56 p.m. CST

    "Signs"

    by TheHumanBeingAndFish

    "Signs", as far as I'm concerned, is the single-most awful movie I've ever seen. Stupid and bad at every level (with the exception of the acting of Mel Gibson and what's-his-face). "Unbreakable" was pretty great though. Of his other movies I've only seen "The sixth sense" and "the village", both of which were OK, not great, IMO. Anyway, I'm currently dating a lady who has a 4-year old, and said 4-year is a big fan of the "Avatar" series. So I'll probably end up seeing this in the theater.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:03 p.m. CST

    SIGNS is not the "single-most awful movie" ever.

    by Mosquito March

    That title belt belongs to Dwight Yoakam's SOUTH OF HEAVEN, WEST OF HELL, followed by John Turturro's ROMANCE & CIGARETTES. Netlix that shit - you'll agree.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Oops, that's "Netflix"

    by Mosquito March

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Where has "Night" plagiarized the bad idea

    by kabong

    that he will use this time?

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Yes the world is fictional

    by Mister C

    and he can cast who the fuck he wants. Is there some growing hatred for white people or something? Last time i checked white people arent this "micky-mouse" group some of you cunts make us out to be. Is it racism only if it's againest a minority? fuck it. Anyway, I think this one can go either way, IMHO it's been M. Night Shamalan's execution thats been hit or miss, his movies have great style.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Airbender

    by veritasses

    The Last Airbender can easily be ranked among the best made shows in recent years, animated or otherwise. A truly remarkable achievement in nearly every aspect. It's curse was that it aired on the Nick channel.<BR><BR> Shyamalan is a capable director but as of late, he's clearly proven to be underwhelming as a writer. And having early success with Sixth Sense probably had a net negative effect. Working with proven material is a good way to get back some credibility as a storyteller... though he shouldn't underestimate the difficulty of translating Airbender to the live action format.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Also, if you wanna talk overrated directors...

    by Mosquito March

    ...high on the list should be none other than Ridley Scott, who with a few exceptions (ALIEN, BLADE RUNNER, THELMA & LOUISE) has been churning out empty, boring shit for decades. In the last ten years, he's made HANNIBAL, MATCHSTICK MEN, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, A GOOD YEAR, AMERICAN GANGSTER and BODY OF LIES. I'll give you BLACKHAWK DOWN and GLADIATOR (even though I hated that one). So, that leaves only two remarkable movies out of eight. I'm sorry, but the other six are just pretty pieces of shit. If anybody needs to go back to movie school, it's Scott, who should be held to a much higher standard and not given as many passes as he has been. That's not a defense of M. Night by any means. I think THE VILLAGE, LADY IN THE WATER, THE HAPPENING, and parts of SIGNS are horrible. It's just proof that some bad directors are much easier targets than others.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:44 p.m. CST

    FUCKING YOUR EYEBALLS IN 20XX?

    by turketron

    But this time it won't be pleasurable as there will be no lubrication and the dong will be adorned with thorns and ejaculating acid.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:55 p.m. CST

    As someone who hates anime...

    by andtheflesh

    ...I can safely say that Avatar is one of the best cartoon series I've ever seen.<br> <br> For those that have no idea about the property I'll give a run down of what sets Avatar apart from say, Dragonball Z.<br> <br> 1. Character development and serious, story effecting consequences that the each character faces. The story of the villian Zuko is really, really interesting.<br> <br> 2. Complicated plots that don't play well with missing an episode. If you don't watch the show in order, you're going to be in trouble.<br> <br> 3. Emotion. The show is typically funny in just the right ways and sad in just the right ways. I'm 26, my favorite movie last year was There Will Be Blood. I don't laugh at tv. There were many times I laughed during Avatar.<br> <br> 4. There are rules. Where in many anime shows the characters can just unleash retarded amounts of power at will and at random the abilities each character has follows a level of progression. And learning certain things and using certain powers can have serious consequences. The moral messages on this show are more complex than anything I've ever seen in an American cartoon tv series.<br> <br> 5. The story is Epic. And that word gets tossed around often but Avatar fully embodies it. For the entire 3rd season you just sit there waiting for the shit to hit the fan.<br> <br> Yeah, so, I loved Avatar. I watched all 3 seasons in about a week and a half while I stayed at a friends house. My buddy and I were the only ones watching it and the other housemates would walk by now and then and watch an episode here and there. By the finale, the entire house and a few friends, about 8 people, were all glued to the set to see Aang go Avatar and fuck up the Fire Nation.<br> <br> Especially if you have younger kids, Avatar is a show you could sit down and watch with them and actually enjoy yourself. But even if you don't have kids, my group of mid 20's friends, all college educated and avid readers, enjoyed the shit out of that show. I was generally saddened when it was all over.<br> <br> All that said, M. Night is going to fuck this movie up so bad it'll be like walking in on your girlfriend getting reamed by the football team. Only difference is, you won't be the only one that doesn't want to watch it.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:55 p.m. CST

    It's easy to say race doesn't matter when you're white

    by terry1978

    Honestly, I am not trying to be a smart ass or facetious, but from personal experience and opinions from people regarding movie and tv show casting, that's what I see. I don't even watch the damn Avatar cartoon and even I know the characters are all pretty much a mixed bag of asian, eskimo, latino, and middle eastern.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:55 p.m. CST

    This series is good, I admit it

    by freydis

    Took me forever to come out of the my-other-show-is-just-on-commercial closet but I have. I really hope they don't screw it up, because I actually thought they wrapped up the series pretty nicely

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 5:06 p.m. CST

    On race...

    by andtheflesh

    ...my problem isn't so much that each character is white in the movie but that what made the team in Avatar was that each character was so damned unique.<br> <br> In any case, I'm going to hold off on bashing the casting until I see who they got to play Toph and Zuko's uncle. Those are really the two characters I care most about.<br> <br> But Zuko looks too young. Period. And that guy is going to look absolutely ridiculous with a top knot.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Who cares when AVATAR will be...waitasec...PIME TARADOX

    by TOGSolid

    Obligatory: [RobotChicken]<br> What a twist!<br> [/RobotChicken]

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Delusional Euphoria

    by JaPra

    Shyamlan needs to do a serious soul searching as an artist before he endeavors to create anything else. His last 2 films haven't just been flops, they've been abysmal failures in every sense. Shyamalan is drowning in the luxury of his delusional euphoria.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Looks like a laserdisc rental to me.

    by The_joker

    Face it. Blu Ray is dead folks.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 5:59 p.m. CST

    After seeing "The Happening"

    by TooWhippy

    I'll skip M-Night movies from now on. I don't care how much the box office turns out to be.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 6:02 p.m. CST

    If, like me, you hated "The Happening"...

    by Organs

    ...the folks at Rifftrax.com have made an awesome commentary of the film, making it infinitely more watchable and hilarious.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 6:12 p.m. CST

    M. Night has his strengths and weaknesses...

    by Billy Goat

    ...and he's a bad match for The Last Airbender. He's good at establishing mood with long scenes in which very little happens. The show was good at communicating lots of plot in very little time, without feeling rushed.<p>Also, M Night should play the cabbage guy.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 6:22 p.m. CST

    What happened to this guy?

    by JumpinJehosaphat

    I feel like I'm watching a director go from Hitchcock to Uwe Boll in one career!

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Oh No! My Cabbages!

    by Amy Chasing

    A running gag even the Muppets would have been proud of. <P> Hopefully this'll be Shyamalan in Unbreakable form, because as a fan of Avatar I'll be obligated to see its cinematic adaptation.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 6:23 p.m. CST

    PS:

    by JumpinJehosaphat

    Eyeballs WILL be fucked. Somehow, somewhere.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 6:30 p.m. CST

    "His last 2 films haven't just been flops..."

    by Toonol

    His last 2 films haven't been flops, period. They just haven't been hits. They turned a profit, and I'm pretty sure the studios would let him churn out movies like that forever.<p> Critically, sure, they were panned. But that's a whole different verb than 'flopped'<p> I think, by the way, that his two worst films have been "The Happening" and "The Village". "Lady in the Water" was simple, quirky, and entertaining.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 6:45 p.m. CST

    on the race issue

    by sokitome

    I'm sorry I just don't see how anyone could not have a problem with casting these people. Even if the cartoon was created by White Americans it doesn't give them the right to take a world which is OBVIOSLY based on asian culture and myths and then put white people in it. Look I'm not saying the entire principal cast has to be Asian,Inuit, or Native American, but not a single ONE in a principal role? BEfore people argue they don't look white, then that would go back to the argument of the style of anime. Even if that were true that the series created meant for them to be white that's even a bigger insult. You don't see Asians rewriting LOTR and putting Asians in it. I had no PROBLEMS with LOTR being an all white cast considering it is based on European Mythology. I don't even have a problem with casting white kids in these parts, BUT ALL OF THE PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS WHITE? That's extremely offensive. This does do damage. You're gonna have an entire generation of Asian American kids being told they don't "look" the part even if it is based entirely on their culture. OH and a side note, East Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans all racially the same. EThnically and nationally different, but racially the same. NOw i'm not saying an east asian person should be cast in all the parts, but a white blonde blue eyed kid as ZUCKO? Are u freaking kidding me? BUT THIS MAY BE ALL MOOT as I have very little faith in M NIGHT pulling this off but I was willing to give him a chance before this casting. I'm sorry I just can't give my money to something that's going to completely offend and alienate Asian American children.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Great Director. Terrible Writer

    by RaRoMo

    M Night is a great director. Look at Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, or a lot of the scenes in Signs, Lady in the Water, or The Happening. He's one of the best directors today. The problem is, M Night is a terrible writer. The absurd convolutions of plot in Signs to have the story make sense is just one of many examples. The "saw it from a mile away" Twilight Zone twist in The Village is another. So I'm interested in seeing what he does directing someone else's script. But just on a purely emotional, technical level, he is a great director.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 6:53 p.m. CST

    RaRomo

    by sokitome

    I would agree with most of what you said except I'm not sure how he's going to direct the action sequences. None of his movies had great action sequences in it. This movie is going to require a lot of martial arts and big action sequences. That is where I think he might have a problem.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 7 p.m. CST

    MR. C

    by sokitome

    The only white people i hate are dumbfucks like you. It's a fictional world yeah, so is LOTR and so is KRYPTON, but yet last time I checked SUPERMAN and the ENTIRE CAST OF LOTR was white. What's the need in putting ALL WHITE PEOPLE in a movie about an ASIAN FANTASY WORLD? The reason why "mickey-Mouse" was used is because a couple of these kids casted were part of DISNEY franchises and not a racial slur against white people you dumbfuck

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 7:09 p.m. CST

    M. Night Shyamalan will write in a shocking ending!!!

    by Leafar the Lost

    Yes, we are expecting a movie version of the Avatar cartoon, but M. Night will not take the easy way out! He will write end a different ending that will totally shock us! This time, Avatar loses to the Firelord, or Phoniex King. He dies and the whole world is under control of the Fire Nation. I can't wait!!!

  • Would THAT still be okay? No, it wouldn't, and anyone who claims they wouldn't be bothered either doesn't care about LOTR at all or is lying because they know it didn't happen (and has no chance of happening either). The claim that it's okay to cast caucasians to inhabit an otherwise asian-themed fantasy world because it's fantasy is specious at best. It's because they think whites won't go see it if it doesn't star whites. The worst truth about this is they're probably not wrong. Unless Will Smith's kid plays Aang (and an African American actor is still the wrong way to go), there's not much chance of a non-white star to this potential series. I'd love to be wrong of course, but I doubt I will be.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 7:23 p.m. CST

    He said he will only do original stuffs.

    by wadi77

    That's why he turned down the Indy 4 writing offer. So this is original?

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 7:24 p.m. CST

    The Happening.

    by gotilk

    When God farts, it's so bad people kill themselves. Great premise. <br> <br> Having said that, and also noting that every film he created before "the happening" was much better than people made it out to be...<br> <br> I still have faith that this one will be his return to form. Just like last time.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 8:02 p.m. CST

    The Happening did one thing right

    by smackfu

    And that was the ending, which was truly original, and interesting. We don't defeat the natural disaster. It doesn't defeat us. It just becomes a part of our lives, like any other force of nature. We go about our lives as always, only along with having to periodically deal with hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc, we now also have to deal with a toxic wind that makes us kill ourselves. Pretty fucked up.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 8:24 p.m. CST

    HOWARD STERN was going to make this--

    by Bob Cryptonight

    ---but it was titled FARTMAN. See, the guy could BEND air, but it came from his

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 8:42 p.m. CST

    I caught a little Airbender

    by Teddy Artery

    and was impressed with the quality of the animation, unlike Naruto which is utter crap.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 8:43 p.m. CST

    Hate on Knight all you want

    by JackSack

    But don't tear down Avatar: The Last Airbender until you have watched the series. Its a solid property and an epic tale on par with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. I'm concerned with the casting. I smell a studio exec's grimmy hands all over it with marketable talents that appeal to white tweens.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 8:45 p.m. CST

    THIS is the Avatar...

    by stanton29

    I want to watch. Cameron's Avatar is so overhyped on this site I actually WANT it to crash and bleed. If The Last Airbender was originally made in Japan, all you haters would be chucking your Naruto crap out the window right now. It IS that good, and I want M. Night to succeed with this. Uncle Iroh should be Sonny Chiba! I don't care if he's the only Japanese guy, Chiba for Iroh.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Whitewashed cast

    by CZ

    I knew we were gonna get a whitewashed cast, but this is ridiculous.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:17 p.m. CST

    I think he'll do fine with this material...

    by sonnyfern

    If you ask me..he's much more into this kind of thing now. Let him take a break from thrillers. I think he's a much better director than a writer at this point in time. Maybe this is what he needs.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:20 p.m. CST

    I still don't get the Lady in the Water hate

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    and since I haven't seen The Happenning yet I'll reserve comments.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:37 p.m. CST

    "Be scientific, douchebag!"

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:53 p.m. CST

    andtheflesh... you ought to check out

    by MurderMostFowl

    Paranoia Agent... very twilightzone.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:26 p.m. CST

    You're right - The Indian guy is casting white people because he

    by Bass Bastardson

    Sure.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:26 p.m. CST

    ...is racist

    by Bass Bastardson

    oops

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:30 p.m. CST

    my wife and i liked the happening. fuck ya'll.

    by Warcraft

    fuck ya'll.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:34 p.m. CST

    lol jackson rathbone too old to play sokka.

    by Warcraft

    this movie is gonna be retarded as hell.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:04 p.m. CST

    Might be good cause they're not his characters

    by BurgerKing

    He's a poor writer, well his first two were great but he ran out of ideas. With characters, themes, and plots already established, he might shine. He is a pretty talented director.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:12 p.m. CST

    The Happening was supposed to be tounge-in-cheek?

    by Paul T. Ryan

    Sure didn't seem like it to me, what with all the self-mutilation, and pompous pseudo-science. Like too many thrillers, this was a moronic film that tried to pass itself off as clever. As for Knight, he still knows how to shoot, but he emptied out the writing bag of tricks a long time ago. I'm also pretty damn sick of the smug spirituality that he propagates in his films too.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:22 p.m. CST

    I loved everything til VILLAGE

    by reflecto

    I think he's very talented if unbelievably egotistical - Lady In The Water was a nadir, and Happening was pretty bad. I think his best move now IS someone else's material like this, and I'm willing to give it a go since the show was quite good. But if he mutes down all the action, it's fucked.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Wow...just wow...

    by Jiggah

    Charlie Chan up this movie. This is a slap in the face to aspiring Asian actors. Especially, when they start populating the world and the majority of the background characters are Asian and the entire Airbender world is based on Asian cultures. It's sad that not a single one of the primary actors is Asian or even part Asian. My recommendations for action choreographers... Yuen Woo Ping (Matrix), Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, or Bradley Allen (the only white guy in Jackie Chan's Stunt Team, and the choreographer for Hellboy: The Golden Army).

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 1:52 a.m. CST

    CASTING ALREADY ANNOUNCED

    by kgerm

    Noah Ringer, Jackson Rathbone ("Twilight"), Nicola Peltz ("Deck the Halls") and singer Jesse McCartney have been cast in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Last Airbender," a live-action adaptation of his popular Nickelodeon anime-inspired series "Avatar" reports Entertainment Weekly. Karate star Ringer, who was discovered at an open casting call in Texas, will play Aang the Avatar (the spirit of the planet manifested in human form). Aang is the last surviving Airbender and a monk of the Air Nomads, a race of people with the unique ability to manipulate the air around them. He is assigned with the task of keeping the Four Nations at peace. Rathbone plays his friend Sokka, a Southern Water Tribe warrior, while Peltz plays Sokka's fourteen-year-old sister Katara. McCartney is in talks to play the Fire Nation’s exiled evil prince Zuko. The film is scheduled to open July 2nd 2010. <a href="http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2008/12/shyamalan-casts.html?xid=rss-hollywoodinsider-Shyamalan%20lines%20up%20his%20cast%20for%20'The%20Last%20Airbender'">ew</a>

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 2:21 a.m. CST

    Aang

    by Toonol

    Noah Ringer... unless I missed it, we have no idea what race he is?<p>On the other hand, I don't really care that much; I don't work hard to see racism everywhere I look.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 3:10 a.m. CST

    Lady in the Water

    by ChocolateJesus

    is a good movie.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 3:57 a.m. CST

    Could anyone please spoil the ending to me?

    by ricarleite

    I don't want to have any reasons to see this,.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 5:56 a.m. CST

    thank GOD!! can this be the last nail in his coffin?

    by BadMrWonka

    literally every movie this guy makes is worse than the one before it. by the time The Village came out, I was already thinking he was done, and yet no, more came! how can he possibly still get things green lit after The Happening?<p>this has to be it. this one tanks, loses a shit ton of money somehow even with a built-in fan base, and Shyamalan will finally be done.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 6:39 a.m. CST

    M. Night

    by Droid

    The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs were all good.<p>The Village was a fucking piece of shit that had no reason to exist other than to provide a terrible twist ending. It would have been better if the woods actually had monsters in it. Not much better, but it would have avoided the insult to the intelligence twist he dumps on you. His worst film.<p>The Lady in the Water was an interesting idea, poorly executed. The film critic character was embarrasing, and casting himself as the writer who will change the world is just asking for it. It's a mess of a film.<p>The Happening was just a bad idea to begin with, coupled with the fact that he had no idea where to take that bad idea. It would be his worst film if it weren't so absurdly amusing.<p>"Oh no! Look at the grass! It's wind!"<p>"What do we do?"<p>"Run!"<p>"Where?"<p>"I don't know? It's wind! Just run goddamn it!"<p>*Everyone runs*<p>"Oh, good. We're safe. The wind has died down."

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 8:06 a.m. CST

    He should do a movie on his meltdown...

    by mrfan

    with the studios. That would be more interesting.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 8:11 a.m. CST

    L in the Death Note movie

    by David Cloverfield

    was played by a japanese guy. OHMYGODRACISMAWEAWESDAFSDFDSGDSFDSFASFDSDF

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Hatey Hate Hate Hate

    by Aquatarkusman

    Learn a different fucking word, for fuck's sake.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:01 a.m. CST

    The funny thing is...

    by rbatty024

    After The Village and Lady in the Water I figured he had no where else to go but up, but the awfulness of those films in no way prepared me for how atrociously bad The Happening would be. Hell, I defended the guy even after The Village and Lady, but I'm just not sure I can do that anymore. I said he was going through a rut and he would come around, but I just don't think that's the case. He's lost it and I doubt he will ever regain it. I'll put Shyamalan on the same list as DePalma.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Its not that he's a bad film maker...

    by wuher da brewer

    I love bad movies. I celebrate bad movies. The reason I can't stand Shyamalan has everything to do with his preachiness. I'm not the target audience for it. I find it offensive and highly insulting to my intelligence. He's the only filmmaker I know that makes me feel that way.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Jackson Rathbone

    by Anna Valerious

    I doubt he'll be in the film as "New Moon" is supposedly starting filming in spring. However, I don't think Jasper gets much screen time. Anyhoo, I think Jesse McCartney would be better off as Light in that "Death Note" movie WB wants to make...the English-language one.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Happening wasn't THAT bad...

    by Mathom

    ...and Lady in the water is his second best movie thus far...the first of course being UNBREAKABLE. I'm so sick of hearing about people wanting another Sixth Sense. Shyamalan is perfect for the Avatar series.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 12:06 p.m. CST

    I'm one of those freaks who love Lady in the Water

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    I have never been able to explain it cohesively to anyone. ALL my friends and family think I'm nuts. I am(or at least was M. Nights biggest supporter and apologizer) Not any fuckin more. <p> The Happening not only sucked but in one foul swoop it killed any interest I had in watching anything this guy makes again. I now find myself even more confused. Do I now go back a reaffirm my appreciation of his earlier work. How can someone who created the Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and yep Lady in the Water make a film that wouldn't seem out of place in Uwe Bolls resume.....Jesus had days like this.......

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 12:53 p.m. CST

    They Should Get That Dude From Dragonballz Movie

    by DarfurOnTheRocks

    ...you know Goku....

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Anime, race and blind people.

    by Vincent Gecko

    There's been mention that anime characters look "white." That's ridiculous. It's an artistic style influenced by early American animation, think Disney and Betty Boop and their unnaturally huge eyes. Joe Shuster drew early Superman as having just lines for eyes. That doesn't make Superman Asian. Jim Lee draws narrow-eyed characters, that doesn't make 90s X-men Asian (Psyloche exluded). Further proof is watching an Anime that has western characters in it. There's clearly a stereotypical difference in how they're portrayed. As a crude example, typical Anime eyes: (_)(_) Western character in an Anime:()(). See, to every individual in the world, they are the "norm" and the others are different. It's why Westerners see Easterners as have narrow small eyes and Easterners see Westerners as having tall wide eyes. Each is the norm to themselves and that's how we all view the world. Another example is asking someone of a particular race to describe someone of another. Someone else mentioned a Tolkien world populated completely by non-whites, that's how ridiculous this martial arts, top knot fantasy world is going to look with non-Asians.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 12:58 p.m. CST

    on a lighter note....

    by nobunaga209

    T.J. Houshmandzadeh > M. Night Shyamalan again, just sayin....

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 12:59 p.m. CST

    I don't think TBers are negative...

    by maddox

    ...simply because something is new or a remake.<p>The new James Bond flicks have been relatively good, and TBers didn't blast them. The old 007 flicks are near and dear to lots of folks, but we were open-minded about the new ones.<p>If anything was going to get hate spewed at it, it was going to be LotR. The LotR trilogy is the second most-read books in history. But that movie kicked butt and TBers said so.<p>TBers usually have a pretty good read on films after only a little information leaks. Case-in-point: flames on Optimus Prime (not to mention lips). After that info came out, TBers spewed hate on Transformers and sure enough... Transformers sucked the big one. So give credit where credit is due. TBers have a knack for spotting crap a mile off.<p>P.S. there is no modern hip hop better that grandmaster flash <- that's just common sense and has nothing to do with disliking new things

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 1 p.m. CST

    oh and to Mathom...

    by nobunaga209

    you should serve a 4 month suspension from the TalkBacks for that comment, "Happening wasn't THAT bad..." YIKES!!

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 1:07 p.m. CST

    for all the pissed off people

    by sokitome

    I know a lot of you are like me and offended by this casting decision. And to the others who think we are whining please ignore this. check out this link and DO something about it. STop Yellowface http://aang-aint-white.livejournal.com/646.html

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 1:47 p.m. CST

    The Happening...

    by Asaraiel

    I love The Happening. Conceptually, anyway. And by that I mean it was a big "fuck you" to people who were giving him crap about LADY. Unfortunately he doesn't have a sense of humor in the public eye so that's largely missed. But it's a great fuck you. And it has that one flash of old school Shayamalan brilliance with the old lady outside and that doll. Now... maybe he'll return to form with this thing. I'm hoping. I liked LADY IN THE WATER but I'm a sucker for movies about the power of story so I'm oddly biased.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 1:48 p.m. CST

    "The new James Bond flicks have been relatively good, and TBers

    by Royston Lodge

    Uh, except for the TBers who blast them.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Okay, folks....

    by Lobanhaki

    <br>On principle, I don't like to pass judgments on movies I haven't seen. But let me tell you something: I have seen the movies that people have said are the worst ever, and while they're not all masterpieces, they're above average. Only trouble, I think, is that his style is a bit personal. He's not, for better or worse, a generic filmmaker.</br> <br>The Shyamalan haters mystify me not in that they find fault with his films, but in that they waste precious minutes commenting on his work, crapping on it before it's even set to celluloid.</br> <br>Relax, folks, its only a movie.</br> <br>Moving on, let me address Anime and Avatar Haters.</br> <br>I love anime. What do I love about it? I love that they aren't afraid to let characters breath, live between the battles or the dramatic highpoints. They don't talk down to their audience, or use the youth of their audiences as an excuse to let quality slide.</br> <br>This helps with action-oriented anime. Even Dragonball has its complexity, though they take way to long to work through the fights. It tells us something that in America, we cut out out a number of episodes of the show that slowed down and focused on their daily lives</br> <br>One thing that constantly earns my admiration, though, is the cleverness of the confrontations. Strengths and weakness, personality quirks and styles of combat combine to create fights that actually build character, further stories. The series aren't so much the holding pattern of monster/week shows like we often make here. They use the serial nature of the work to build worlds and sets of characters, and map out big conflicts that make for a rich entertainment experience. They're doing more than stringing folks along.</br> <br>Airbender follows the best of that tradition, building rich, complicated characters, choregraphing battles and sequences that would be good compared to what we see in a live-action movie.</br> <br>I can understand if not everybody likes this sort of stuff, but lets get one thing straight: movies, storytelling, things like that are subjective by nature. While that doesn't mean that people are necessarily wrong in perceiving certain flaws in certain work, it does mean that sometimes, the reason you don't like the work has something to do with you. Some people are going to find some of Shyamalan's later movies a bit too artificial, a bit too "story-ish" and meta. Some people are going to find that richly meaningful. If we admitted that sometimes our differences on works like this depend on our own perspective and reactions, and that people aren't stupid or wrong for liking what we don't, perhaps we would be a little bit less insufferable.</br>

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 1:59 p.m. CST

    As for any racism in the casting?

    by Lobanhaki

    Give me a break. Look who's casting. What incentive would he have? Maybe it would have been preferable to have somebody with an oriental background, but take a look at the characters: they're generic. They weren't drawn as explicitly non-white.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Racism

    by Vincent Gecko

    To use the tired cliche. The only color that really matters is green. Avatar is an American IP set in a fictional Asian fantasy setting. Casting whites makes financial sense since there isn't going to be that international market that's going to care so much about being true to the property. What matters is the notion that people are more likely to pay to watch movies with actors that look like them. This is of course, a falsity, since little children tend to be the most colorblind, but that's Hollywood for you. White Americans are probably the shows biggest demographic. Most Americans are white, for the time being, there you go - white American cast. A live action Speed Racer movie set in Japan would probably star Japanese people. The Initial D live action film from Hong Kong based on the manga, starred Chinese people.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 2:28 p.m. CST

    hey 'andtheflesh', your list was a great post.

    by samsquanch

    I couldn't agree more, and this is from someone who is also sick of Anime. I burned out on it after Howl's Moving Castle. If Myazaki is starting to make tired films, it's time to move the fuck on. <p> Avatar was incredibly weird. Weird in the sense that it was so great, but had everything going against it. American production, for Nickelodeon (or however you spell it) and definitely for little kids. Considering that most productions have way more going for them, and usually end up as crap, there is very little reason that this show would have ended up the classic that it is. I encourage everyone to watch it. <p> M. Night directing worries me, I'm afraid his ego might prevent him from recognizing this as the moment as a filmmaker to take a backseat to the strength of the project and the source material. If he can do that, I think he might turn out something on par with Harry Potter, if he fails, we'll get another Golden Compass- that is, a rare, beautiful children's story that any adult can enjoy, rendered in film with it's balls chopped off. <p> That would be a great shame, there are so few of these kinds of stories these days, the kind of kids story that a parent can be proud to show his kids, and (secretly enjoy just as much) there's a part of me that doesn't want anyone to mess with it. Please, M. Night, don't fuck this up. <p> Oh yeah, and as far as the race issue- I got the impression that the races were sort of ambiguous, the characters were different colors, but it was never an issue. That was one of my favorite things about the show, a very subtle point- that racism is something that's taught, Zuko's character is one that has been taught since birth that his nation is superior, that he and they are entitled to take over the world, and it takes a multi-national (implied multi-ethnic) group of friends to show him the error of his ways. Race is never an issue in Avatar, but issues of bigotry, oppression, persecution and hatred are. Let's respect the writers and make sure we have a bit of a mixed cast, huh? To make them all lily-white would be the first disservice to the source material.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Lobanhaki

    by sokitome

    it may not have been racism on his part as i'm sure it was an economic choice by producers but its still racist. No matter how the characters were drawn what in the world justifies an entire caucasian main cast in this movie which is rooted in Asian culture and mythology. If it isn't racists then what is? How much do u expect a minority group to take before there is not some type of backlash. The MAJORITY of asians in movies are in typecasted roles. The only ASIAN AMERICAN star to have a lead that wasn't martial arts related has been John Cho. There are plenty of Asian American actors who can do the acting and the action involved. So now even movies that are about Asian myths and culture are off limits to these actors. WTF does that mean? How do you expect asians to take that? I understand many people feel it seems like Asians nitpicking because of the protest of Memiors of a GEisha. I didn't miind the casting of that film and I even sympathize to those who didn't like the flack it got. Even Dragonball, I could possibly understand the casting choices inthat but this AVATAR casting is completely unacceptable.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 4:17 p.m. CST

    superior yellowface

    by vacuous tart

    This movie needs David Carradine as Iroh. Think about it. Otherwise, Nickelodeon still loses to Universal casting Keanu Reeves as Oishi Yoshio in 47 Ronin. (not a joke)

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Are there any Asian people out there upset by this casting?

    by Amy Chasing

    Just curious.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 7:39 p.m. CST

    The Village was great.

    by The Grug

    There, I said it. Get used to it. He's had a bad run, but I have faith in the guy - he can make good films.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 8:04 p.m. CST

    The Lady in the Water

    by Arghh

    I liked The Lady in the Water.... it was way better than The Village.... it reminded me of one of the better Spielberg movies, a very good film. Remember that Shyamalan was also going to work on Indiana Jones many years back but he turned it down to work on his own projects, I think Shyamalan has a style and sensibility that could lend itself to a hollywood blockbuster (look at Signs for example), so I for one am looking forward to what this young man Shyamalan will do with the Avatar movie.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:30 p.m. CST

    Whats with this "All Asian" characters stuff?

    by Mace13

    The main characters on Avatar DO NOT look asian because they're not supposed to be. Yes they're culture on the show is asian influenced but that doesn't mean that that is their ethincity. The entire series takes place on an alternate earth like realm. Not actually earth. <br> <br> There are obviously other characters on the show who ARE supposed to be asian. And they are drawn to look like they are.But the main cast of characters is NOT. <br><br> Ang looks like a little scrawny white kid because that is what he is. How you guys are intepreting him to be an asian kid I have no idea. Same goes for the rest of the main characters. <br> <br> And no I am not being racist. And the way Ang looks is not an art style to portray asians on a cartoon. As one or two posters above tried to argue. Whatever. <br> <br> If anyone wants to argue this point feel free. With one acception. They're obviously different races of people portrayed on the show. Asian and white and what have you. If Ang is supposed to be asian then tell me why he doesn't look like the rest of the asain looking characters on the show? Can you explain that to me?

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Mace13

    by Amy Chasing

    Some people think because you wouldn't put asians into Lord Of The Rings, they shouldn't put caucasians into Avatar. Or something like that. Whatever boats yer float, but the kids'll still love it.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 11:22 p.m. CST

    m. night shitbag!

    by mojoman69

    this guy hasnt done anything decent since Unbreakable. Come on! He is a hack and should direct DTV crap for Steven Seagal!

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 11:25 p.m. CST

    dont compare this joker with DePalma!

    by mojoman69

    DePalma has doen shit, to be sure, but he has also done, Phantom of the paradise, the untouchables and a little opus called Scarface!

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 2:36 a.m. CST

    Mace, if they're not Asian, what are they?

    by CZ

    Mace, if they're not Asian, what ethnicities are the characters? The Avatar cultures aren't Asian "influenced." They're pretty much built on the preexisting cultures - Japan, Tibet, China/Korea, and Pacific Islander/Inuit. Just with magic powers and stuff.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 4:08 a.m. CST

    Where do you draw the line?

    by Amy Chasing

    The people who voiced the main characters in Avatar were all American. Did anyone feel offended by that?

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 4:53 a.m. CST

    The Grug

    by BadMrWonka

    I literally have broken up with a girlfriend over The Village. she loved it, and when I pointed out it's obviously and almost PAINFUL flaws, she agreed with me, but said, "I don't care, I liked it!" it was the "turn off your brain" argument put into practice. it was overdue, but that was the straw that broke the Wonka's back. it was that fucking horrible and insulting to the viewer.<p>here's Roger Ebert's summation of it. hilarious and SO accurate:<p>"Solemn violin dirges permeate the sound track. It is autumn, overcast and chilly. Girls find a red flower and bury it. Everyone speaks in the passive voice. The vitality has been drained from the characters; these are the Stepford Pilgrims. The elders have meetings from which the young are excluded. Someone finds something under the floorboards. Wouldn't you just know it would be there, exactly where it was needed, in order for someone to do something he couldn't do without it.<p> Eventually the secret of Those, etc., is revealed. To call it an anticlimax would be an insult not only to climaxes but to prefixes. It's a crummy secret, about one step up the ladder of narrative originality from It Was All a Dream. It's so witless, in fact, that when we do discover the secret, we want to rewind the film so we don't know the secret anymore. <p> And then keep on rewinding, and rewinding, until we're back at the beginning, and can get up from our seats and walk backward out of the theater and go down the up escalator and watch the money spring from the cash register into our pockets."

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:36 a.m. CST

    On the topic of anime characters enthnicity

    by Mundungus

    It's not terribly strange that Avatar, being a sort of pseudo-anime, was populated with asian looking characters even though it was produced domestically. <p> What has vexed me for a long time is why so many characters in japenese anime appear european or american. Plenty of examples in Bleach, Full Metal Alchemist, Naruto, Code Geass, + many more. Has this phenomena been the topic of much discusion, or have I just not seen enough anime.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:38 a.m. CST

    Yeah, that's right. Enthnicity...

    by Mundungus

    You got a problem with that?