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Dev Patel In The Last Airbender
But who's the leading man?

02 February 2009  |  Written by Helen O'Hara  

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M. Night Shyamalan has announced the cast for his next film, The Last Airbender, and there are some very surprising names in there - not least because few of them are names anyone's ever heard of.

 Dev Patel, currently riding high with Slumdog Millionaire, has been cast as Zuko, a member of the Fire Nation who are the baddies of the piece (although if the planned three films follow the arc of the TV series, Zuko himself has a more complicated path to follow). His role was one originally earmarked for popster Jesse McCartney, whose tour dates prevented him from joining the film.

The lead role of Aang, however, goes to 12 year-old Texan newcomer Noah Ringer, who landed the role after uploading a video of himself doing martial arts moves onto Shyamalan's casting site. Aang is the last of the Air race, who can manipulate the element of Air just as the Fire Nation can manipulate fire. Aang is 12 years old, but spent 100 years frozen in a glacier (of course) and is the current Avatar, the spirit of the planet in human form. Which is a bit of a bummer when you're 12 and would rather not be fighting off the entire Fire Nation.

Nicola Peltz (er, Deck the Halls) will play Waterbender Katara, who frees Aang from the glacier and helps him on his quest, while Jessica Jade Anders, lately of Gossip Girl, will play Earth Kingdom representative Suki. Jackson Rathbone (Jasper in Twilight) also has a role, and has managed to juggle schedules so he can shoot both this and New Moon.

The film starts shooting in Greenland (eh?) in March, with a July 2, 2010 release date set. Shyamalan's planning a three-picture story arc, and now that the film's dropped the "Avatar" from its title, avoiding confusion with James Cameron's Avatar, let's hope that he manages it.

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Your Comments

Thats a good point
But one that's irrelevant if its Shyamalan directing. Personally, i cant wait for the twist ending. He was the fire-lord all along? Maybe the arrows turn out to be painted on his head! More

Posted by shanewire at 18:00 on 03 February 2009 | Report This Post

Shyamalan is a good director, but he can't direct his own material. Hopefully with someone elses story, his directing will come to the fore and really bring out something knew in him. I've always thought his style was well suited to fantasy epics. He grounds things so easily and naturally (at least in the beginning of his films...) More

Posted by Middenway at 01:05 on 03 February 2009 | Report This Post

this is the best news ever!!! well not ever but its pretty awesome! please shylaman don't mess up this awesome show!!! More

Posted by vivlitherland at 14:43 on 02 February 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Hopefully Shyamalan stops sucking for this
I agree with shanewire, Avatar (as I will still be calling it) is a fantastic show, enjoyed by friends of mine in a wide age range (one being over 50!) and although I was sceptical of it at first with it being American-Anime, it showed a suprising depth and respect to its obvious asian influences. I'm thinking Dev Patel would be MUCH better suited to the role of Sokka personally, but then I've only seen him in Skins too. More

Posted by christofurr at 13:00 on 02 February 2009 | Report This Post

Hopefully Shyamalan stops sucking for this
It really is an amazing show. I've never seen any of the cast in action except for patel. And that was in skins, this is slightly different. He's gonna have to get pretty ripped to play Zuko who's a bit of a bad ass, although good natured. I hope they don't make it too childish. To anyone with reservations about watching the show cause its a cartoon, and think themselves above it, hunt it down now. Its amazing. More

Posted by shanewire at 10:59 on 02 February 2009 | Report This Post

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