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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"The Last Airbender" isn't "Avatar"

M. Night Shyamalan's next project is already being talked of, and his latest project, "The Happening" still hasn't 'happened' at the box office yet. But some interesting things have been said about the upcoming movie based on the Nickelodeon television series he'll be adapting to the big screen.

The live action "Avatar: The Last Airbender" will simply be called "The Last Airbender" in order to avoid confusion with James Cameron's movie, "Avatar." This makes no sense to me because Cameron's "Avatar" is being released next summer, where as "The Last Airbender" has been given a release date of July 2, 2010. (Sorry "Avatar" fans, including my little sister, you'll have to wait over two years to finally see this thing.)

On adapting it, Shyamalan had some interesting things to say during an interview with Empire Magazine:

"Buddhist and Hindu philosophies run through the stuff," Shyamalan says. "When I realised that is what it was, it really drew me as the template for putting storytelling on a new level. There is a kind of thread that connects Star Wars and The Matrix – the first one. That same thread is in this story, about a forgotten belief system, or the illusion of the world now."

He continues, "Obviously [there will be] some breathtaking visual effects," the director says. "Just imagine if you saw a little girl bending water out of a glass into the air as an extension of her own personal discipline. It’s three movies about the hero learning three elements. Live action.[But] It can’t be special effects for the sake of special effects, it has to be [that you use] take seven because the girl breathes properly on take seven. I have to tell the animators that. Everything, has to have that detail. I can’t leave it. I have to make sure that I make it the same kind of storytelling, but with just one more tool."

Very interesting. He seems very passionate about the production and fans of the Emmy Award Winning series should rest assured that he wants to make a good movie. This seems like it will be very different compared to the stuff he's done in the past, and despite my original reaction to Shyamalan's involvement with this movie, I've grown more accepting of the notion.

July 2nd, 2010. We'll see then if this thing goes well.

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