Paramount and M.Night Shyamalan Previews LAST AIRBENDER -

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Paramount and M.Night Shyamalan Previews LAST AIRBENDER

The property will soon be hitting theaters.

By Jarrod Sarafin     June 10, 2008
Source: Nickelodeon Press Release

Scene from Episode 2 of THE LAST AIRBENDER
As part of the Licensing International Expo 2008 conference, director M. Night Shyamalan, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies were on hand to preview their next high profile team effort, an adaptation of The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon sent media outlets the following press release highlighting the panel.

Nickelodeon kicked off Licensing International Expo 2008 today at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center with star power, including a presentation by special guest M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Happening) and Nickelodeon Movies' and Paramount Pictures' executives, where attendees got a preview of Shyamalan's July 2, 2010, theatrical film in the making, The Last Airbender. Also at Licensing Show, iCarly star Miranda Cosgrove was on-hand to sign copies of the brand-new iCarly album, just released today, for show attendees who stopped by the Nickelodeon booth.

During the presentation for The Last Airbender, Academy Award®-nominated writer/director Shyamalan commented, "Casting has begun and we've seen thousands of kids. I believe we've found the next superstars." In recounting his excitement about the project and how he got involved, Shyamalan recalled, "I called up my agent and said I have a movie I want to do. We phoned Paramount and Nickelodeon, and told them that we think they have the next STAR WARS."

Shyamalan also discussed how he came to work on the Avatar film, crediting his daughter as his first introduction to the action-oriented series. "I sat down and watched four television episodes back-to-back with my kids. We were riveted. I said, 'This would make a phenomenal movie!' My wife said, 'This is the one you've been waiting for."

Cyma Zarghami, President of Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group, began the morning's presentation, touching on the strength of the Nickelodeon brand and future plans for the hit property. "We're tremendously excited about the growth potential as new audiences meet our hero in live-action form in The Last Airbender," she said. "[Nickelodeon] is developing initiatives to super-serve the show's hardcore super-fans in anticipation of The Last Airbender's premiere."

Also present were Paramount Film Group's President, John Lesher, and Paramount Pictures' Vice Chairman, Rob Moore, who voiced their anticipation of The Last Airbender. Both Lesher and Moore cited the film as "one of those rare event movies that moves audiences globally and ensures the franchise a long, prosperous future."

Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP) President, Leigh Anne Brodsky, closed the presentation remarking about potential future Avatar licensing and merchandising programs. "We're especially optimistic about this movie's prospects given The Last Airbender's already rabid, global fan base. The Last Airbender is a living, breathing, organic brand that's poised to explode, [and] our strategy is to work with partners who want to authentically build the brand around the globe."

Following the Avatar presentation, attendees stopped by an exclusive CD signing by Miranda Cosgrove, star of Nickelodeon's tween live-action hit iCarly, which launches a consumer products line later this month. The series' first iCarly album hits shelves today and apparel, electronics and stationery will all become available at retail later this summer. iCarly follows a cast of characters on and off webcam as they create webcasts featuring everything from comedy sketches and talent contests to interviews, recipes and problem- solving. Kid viewers can interact with the TV characters at real-life companion website

NVCP also announced the debut of new product lines for Ni Hao, Kai-lan -- the first animated preschool series to incorporate Chinese culture and Mandarin Chinese language -- and Neopets -- the world's most youth-engaging virtual world and one of the stickiest on the web. Additionally, NVCP unveiled the first of many Slime! branded products, along with expansion programs for Nickelodeon's most popular characters including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, The Naked Brothers Band and Go, Diego, Go!.


Showing items 1 - 7 of 7
almostunbiased 6/10/2008 6:09:24 PM
This is so weird there were a bunch of messages here and now they are all gone.<BR />Guess I'll start over.<BR />I can't wait for this movie. It's a cool world and my kids and I like teh show a lot.<BR />It will be live action, so the SFX should be sweet. I was wrong this is the second one today, oops.
velgron 6/10/2008 6:17:22 PM
In my house it was me who hooked my kids and some colleagues into the show. This one is easy... the story and cinematography is already available, just don't funk with it. The last airbender final season ends this summer, it has been THE BEST anime/cartoon made in the US and A.
Chance375 6/10/2008 6:29:16 PM
Check out this avatar site
captm0rgan77 6/11/2008 10:19:03 AM
velgron. You're saying that the show will be over after The Book of Fire is done? That sucks. And doesn't make sense on a profit stand point. Kind of backwards actually. Wouldn't the studio want to make more to keep the fanbase, and possibly increase it? When AverageJoe sees the trailer and such wouldn't the studio want them to look for the cartoon the movie is based on? How many cartoons have been based on a movie's success? Where, this time, it's the other way around. Doesn't make sense to me. My kids and I have been waiting for this to be a movie for a while now. Hope they get it right. I like that M. Night thinks that this is the next 'Star Wars'. Those are some pretty high bars to jump over. And on a second note, does this mean he's going to dedicate the years needed to see a "Star Wars" type of project through? I hope so. I have no quams about his storytelling abilities, but we haven't seen anything like this from him before. ??? Waiting in anticipation.
velgron 6/11/2008 5:59:10 PM
It's sad, but the creators confirmed last year that this would be the final season. They used the analogy of the three elements that aang had to master (water, earth, fire), since he was a master airbender before he got frozen by accident. Hence, each book is named by the elements in the cycle that the story defined as the avatar cycle (the previous avatar was from the fire nation, the avatar after aang will be a water bender). I have said before that my concern with Shyamalan is that while he creates great characters, the characters usually overwhelm the story. For the last airbender the story, backstory, and even the "side stories" are as important as the main characters. I would hate to lose that in a film adaptation (they are planning a trilogy, one movie per season). The good thing is that the series is so deep, that it can withstand rewatching it over and over (at least that's my plan).
Roads 6/12/2008 10:52:15 AM
Velgron; when the frack are you going to buy the DVDs so I can borrow them?
velgron 6/12/2008 11:16:00 AM
Chico, las cosas estan malas. Quizas me los puedas regalar en mi cumplecumple! Te juro que te los presto.


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