In the latest issue of Empire Magazine, there is a story on the upcoming family-friendly, martial arts epic The Last Airbender, and we now have scans of a few images from behind the scenes of the film. The Last Airbender, based on a Nickelodeon animated series similarly titled Avatar: The Last Airbender, is written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and stars newcomer Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Dev Patel, and Jackson Rathbone. The television series had three seasons, and ideally the film will launch a successful franchise for Paramount Pictures. More after the jump:
I happen to be a huge fan of the television series, as it really snuck up on me in terms of the themes it addressed despite the connotations of a Nickelodeon cartoon. It is a story ripe with fantasy, adventure, and complex relationships that could be well suited to cinematic trilogy. I do have concerns about Shyamalan’s involvement with the project; given his recent track record, his hands are the last I want on a property that I admire. Still, I remain optimistic that the man maintains a storytelling gift deep within him, ready to see the light of day again on The Last Airbender. The Empire scan give you some sense of the costumes and sets used in the film, but not much else. From what we’ve seen so far, the look of the film appears to be perfectly suitable as long as the story is told well. The stylish one-take teaser trailer released in July gives me hope that the movie will deliver on the action potential (if not necessarily the emotional themes) of the series. I’m still dying to know what Appa, a giant, six-legged, dog-like, Miyazakian creature in the TV show, will look like in the film.
The Last Airbender is slated to hit theaters on July 2, 2010. Credit to lastairbenderfans.com for grabbing these images. Head over there to see one additional image.
For those just tuning in, here’s a brief synopsis:
The film is set in a world where human civilization is divided into four nations: Water, Earth, Air and Fire. The Fire Nation is waging a ruthless, oppressive war against the other three nations. The film’s hero, the reluctant young Aang (Noah Ringer), is the “Last Airbender” – the Avatar who, according to prophecy, has the ability to manipulate all of the elements and bring all the nations together.
Aided by a protective teenage Waterbender named Katara (Nicola Peltz) and her bull-headed brother Sokka, Aang proceeds on a perilous journey to restore balance to their war-torn world. Dev Patel plays the Fire Nation’s evil prince Zuko. Exiled from the Fire Nation by his father, Zuko is sent to capture the Avatar in order to restore his honor and right to the throne.