M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie project has fans and kids squirming in their seats with anticipation. The highly-acclaimed director is currently busy filming The Last Airbender, a live-action adaptation of the first season animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender. The project is intended as a movie trilogy that will feature the 3 seasons of the series.
For those who are unfamiliar with the animated series, Avatar features a world where there are for tribes representing the four elements, water, earth, air, and fire. Within these tribes are ‘benders’ who have the power to control the specific element of their group. Within this world is an Avatar, one who has the power to wield all four elements and who is considered to be responsible for maintaining harmony within the civilization. The Avatar is a powerful bender who is the bridge between the physical and the spirit world and thus capable of solving problems that normal benders are unable to resolve. The story starts with the Fire Nation waging a war to gain control of the rest of the tribes. To accomplish this, the Fire Nation moves from one tribe to another trying to destroy the benders. The main character in the story is Aang, a hesitant 12-year old airbender who tries to escape when he discovers that he is the Avatar. In his attempt, he crashes into the ocean with his flying bison, Appa, and is placed in suspended animation inside an iceberg by his Avatar state to protect his life. The adventure starts when Katara, the last waterbender, and her brother Sokka discover Aang. These 3 companions now travel together as they help Aang fulfill his destiny by mastering his airbending power as well as the rest of the elements to defeat the Fire Nation.
Often mistaken for an anime, the American animated television series revolves around an Asian-influenced world of martial arts. During pre-production, there have been controversy in the cast as Noah Ringer was chosen to play Aang along with other American actors. There were fans who believed that Asian characters should be played by Asian actors. Nevertheless, the producers prevailed in their choices and filming started in March 2009. The movie is scheduled for release on July 2, 2010.
This is a movie that many are eagerly anticipating. We can only hope that it will be a lot more interesting than Shyamalan’s recent movie, The Happening. With Shyamalan’s direction, I am certain this will be a hundred notches higher than the live-action Dragonball movie. Here is the official trailer.