Back when we last checked on the news of the upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender movie, the big news was that the movie would be dropping the “Avatar” appellation so as not to conflict with an upcoming James Cameron film releasing around the same time. Fine. Good to know, even.
But what about what’s happening with the movie so far? There’s been precious little news. Until this week!
Coming Soon has an interview with the director up, wherein we learn why Shyamalan wanted to do the film:
“It was just the story. I just loved the story,” he told us. “I loved the characters in the story and I felt like I could be me inside this larger canvas of this very long-form movie. I think it inherently had kind of family issues and serious larger topics–at the center, genocide–all kinds of stuff. Cultural differences at the center. It has Buddhism, Hinduism, things I’m interested in. It does have martial arts in a way that’s not bang bang bang, but more about the person mastering yourself and the things that I love. I took martial arts for a long time. A ten-year-old at the center. That point of view felt good, like I could do my thing.”
I also received a press release from Nickelodeon about M. Night Shyamalan’s appearance at Licensing Show yesterday, where his enthusiasm was readily apparent:
During the presentation for The Last Airbender, Academy Award®-nominated writer/director Shyamalan commented, “Casting has begun and we’ve seen thousands of kids. I believe we’ve found the next superstars.” In recounting his excitement about the project and how he got involved, Shyamalan recalled, “I called up my agent and said I have a movie I want to do. We phoned Paramount and Nickelodeon, and told them that we think they have the next STAR WARS.”
Shyamalan also discussed how he came to work on the Avatar film, crediting his daughter as his first introduction to the action-oriented series. “I sat down and watched four television episodes back-to-back with my kids. We were riveted. I said, ‘This would make a phenomenal movie!’ My wife said, ‘This is the one you’ve been waiting for.”
Exciting stuff! I can’t believe we still have to wait until 2010 for the movie.