If you’re twelve years old, and you looking to break on to the Hollywood scene, all you need to do is practice, practice, practice . . . karate. Noah Ringer already (and a bit controversially) landed the lead role for Paramount’s upcoming summer tentpole The Last Airbender, and now Variety reports that director Jon Favreau likes the young actor for a character in Cowboys & Aliens. Note that Ringer has not a lick of acting experience to his name, but he does have a black belt! Ringer will join Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, and the recently cast Harrison Ford to act out the words of screenwriting team Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek) and Damon Lindelof (Lost). More after the jump:
All the Airbender trailers currently in release tend to raise the same fear: they make sure to show off Ringer’s martial arts skills, but keep keep his character’s appearances virtually free of dialogue. As portrayed in the Nickelodeon cartoon on which the film is based, the character of Aang is not the strong, silent type. If they stay true to the series (and director M. Night Shyamalan sounds like he has every intention of doing so), then Ringer will be called on to emote plenty. Maybe the promo department surveyed some kids ages 8-14, and they like the main characters to maintain a sense of mystery in their trailers? I could go for that.
Such casting, if inept, could very easily be chalked up to the tunnel vision egotism of Shyamalan, but this news seems to contradict that possibility. If the talented folks over at the Cowboys production are willing to bet some of their substantive budget on Ringer (no idea how large his role is), there must be something to the kid. At least that’s what I choose to believe, because I really hope for the best with Airbender.
Regardless of his talent, you can catch Ringer in theaters starting July 2, 2010 in The Last Airbender, while Cowboys and Aliens has scheduled a July 29, 2011 release date.