M. Night Shyamalan to direct "Avatar: The Last Airbender" - Mania.com

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M. Night Shyamalan to direct "Avatar: The Last Airbender"

By Karl Schneider     January 09, 2007
Source: Hollywood Reporter

© Paramount
According to the Hollywood Reporter, M. Night Shyamalan will write, direct and produce the live-action big-screen adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Avatar is set in a world balanced on four nations -- Water, Earth, Fire and Air. In each society, there are masters who can manipulate their native elements -- Waterbenders, Earthbenders, Firebenders and Airbenders -- while the one person who can master all four is the Avatar.

When the current Avatar, a 12-year-old boy still learning to master his powers, seemingly dies, the Fire nation launches a war for global domination. One hundred years later, two teens discover and free the Avatar and his flying bison from suspended animation, and he must fight to restore harmony among the four nations.

Shyamalan, Paramount Pictures MTV Films and Nick Movies all plan to make this a three picture series with Shyamalan staying involved throughout.

This will be the first time Shyamalan will direct a film based on material he didn't create.

KJ's Take:  WOW!!!  Holy flying Pigs!!  This news just came out of left field and boy am I pumped!  I love Shyamalan's work and am thrilled to see him take on fantasy project like this.

I often catch myself watching Airbender when I stumble upon it flipping channels.  It's just a quality, enjoyable show with a great premise and now a great writer/director to bring it to the big screen.

I have a feeling that this film will be PG-13 and aimed at a teen audience rather than the 6-11 demographic of Nickelodeon.  Wow, I'm still a bit shell shocked!  Great news.


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Tashiro 1/9/2007 1:40:12 AM
I just finished watching the first season on DVD, and I admit, I really like the storytelling. Now, Shyamalan directing a live-action? I certainly hope it won't be a single movie, and will instead be a four-parter. (One for each 'Book'). Call me... skeptical, but hopeful.
lochkray 1/9/2007 6:45:31 AM
Just so I'm clear, this is completely independent of James Cameron's "Avatar"? Also independent of the "Avatar" starring Leanardo DeCaprio? (Okay, I'm kidding about that one). I'd love to see Shyamalan do a movie he didn't write. I think he's a really good and unique director, but his movies have gradually become more and more self indulgent. It would be interesting to see him working with somebody else's plot and writing with the same methodical, patient, building style that he put into his own movies. Then again, it may end up something like Lynch's Dune.
noblenonsense 1/9/2007 7:58:24 AM
I don't HATE Shyamalan but I don't LOVE his work. And this was DEFINITELY from left field. If someone were to say that Avatar was becoming a live action movie I would not have thrown out Shyamalan to write or direct it. Wow...
sithfran 1/9/2007 8:03:26 AM
I'll say this from the opposite view. I don't want this to happen because I don't want to lose Shyamalan. He's one of the few directors who makes original movies. Whether you lilke them or not we need more people like him to get out of sequal and remake hell. Most on here moan about this and here we lose one of the greats to do a tv show adaption? Come on.
godsonfilm 1/9/2007 8:45:17 AM
I think it will be good for Shyamalan to break away from his comfort zone and explore others work. It will be a test of his directorial skills and will let us see what kind of vision he can create from anothers work. The Last Air Bender has plenty of mystery and twists and turns in it to satisfy him thats for sure. Which is probably why he agreed to it. Plus he has had a bit of a bad luck streak lately. I'm sure he is not feeling to confident about himself due to critics and others who overly bashed him and his last flick. Not to mention losing his film deal.
karlschneider 1/9/2007 8:57:45 AM
I really think it is something he has wanted to do, in a genre he has wanted to try for a while now. Don't forget he was mentioned and was seriously considering directing the 5th Harry Potter.
monkeyfoot 1/9/2007 10:19:37 AM
Haven't seen the show, but I'll look at it now. I've seen more episodes of Naruto, which also looks like it would make a great live-action movie. This is a good movie for the Night man. I'd like to see his take on something like this. I'd never heard about Shyamalan possibly doing at Harry Potter. That would be a match made in heaven.
fft5305 1/9/2007 10:32:47 AM
I think it will be interesting to see him take on someone else's creation. I imagine that's why he's doing it. These creative types are always looking for new challenges, doing things they haven't done before. I've never heard of this show, but I'm interested in the movie now because Shyamalan's name is attached.
Phogeta 1/9/2007 11:01:56 AM
I'll be one of the first to say I hope this falls through and never happens. I don't want to see Shyamalan to have anything to do with Avatar. Now that I've heard this I can only wonder what the twist will be. Will Appa actually be the Avatar, or maybe Zuko and Aang are related somehow. Please after The Village and Lady in the Water, he doesn't need to ruin this series.
sharpe95th 1/9/2007 1:35:37 PM
Left field and out of the ballpark...I for one dig The Last Airbender. Originally I turned it on for my son to watch but ended up watching it more than him--great backstory, plot, characters and animation that's not too glossy. Yet Shyamalan to take this concerns me only that he'll "darken" the themes. There's something about A:TLA that's fun, breezy and humorous without or dumbed down for kids' level. I'll give M Night the benefit of the doubt but for now it's a Nickelodeon thing. What if George Romero redid The Adventures of Pete and Pete? Whoa.
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