THE LAST AIRBENDER Has Two Months to Affix “3D” to Its Title

     April 22, 2010

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It turns out that The Green Hornet isn’t the only tentpole in town getting the 3D conversion treatment; a “senior official” at Paramount talked to Harry from AICN about adding a third dimension to this summer’s The Last Airbender, the adaptation of a Nickelodeon cartoon of a similar name.  And while Hornet has nine months (with a new January 2011 release date) to get its act together, Airbender has just over two months to bend its projection toward the audience if it intends to keep its July 2nd release date (Deadline confirms it does).  More after the jump:

last_airbender_movie_poster_international_01.jpgIn terms of filming in 2D, then converting to 3D, there are two major reference points of recent note: Alice in Wonderland and Clash of the TitansAlice had more than a year between the time filming wrapped and its release date, but the time between the 3D decision and release date is better measured in weeks for Clash, with a February 3D announcement for its April release.  The Hornet news sounds like it’s in Wonderland territory, while the Airbender conversion seems much more Titan-ic.  That’s . . . umm, how do I put this? . . . not a good thing.

Clash of the Titans has been positioned (read: crucified) as the model of all that is wrong with 3D conversion, for good reason: it looked terrible.  Such poor quality can perhaps be avoided if enough time is allotted to the process (though even that has yet to be proven), but time is not in great supply over at the Airbender production headquarters.  Does that mean Airbender will look terrible 3D?  I really hope not, but at the very least we have plenty of 2D screenings to rely on.

Reportedly, the decision was ultimately left up to director M. Night Shyamalan (who clearly okayed the process), and Stereo D–the company that worked on Avatar–will be handling the conversion.  So read into that what you will.

The Last Airbender is slated to hit theaters on July 2, 2010.  Here’s the official plot synopsis:

Air, Water, Earth, Fire. Four nations tied by destiny when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others. A century has passed with no hope in sight to change the path of this destruction. Caught between combat and courage, Aang (Noah Ringer) discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara (Nicola Peltz), a Waterbender, and her brother, Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), to restore balance to their war-torn world.

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