The Last Airbender Trailer by M. Night Shyamalan
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 discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara, a Waterbender, and her brother Sokka to restore balance.
Starting in 2005, Nickelodeon began airing an original animated series called “Avatar: The Last Airbenderâ€ from co-creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. The show struck a chord with a wide range of viewers. Soon, “Avatar’ fever had spread to become an international phenomenon (the show now airs in more than 120 countries). It soon came to the attention of one of Hollywood’s best storytellers—M. Night Shyamalan. The double-Oscar-nominated filmmaker comments, “Avatar: The Last Airbender’ fell into my lap. It hit me like an epiphany.”
Shyamalan’s daughters had fallen in love with the series, particularly the character of the young female waterbender Katara. Intrigued by their unprecedented fan loyalty, Shyamalan decided to watch the television show alongside them, and then he too was hooked.
Clearly, there was cinematic potential in the series. Yet to adapt the 30-some hours of stories into a feature film would not be a task without significant challenge— including the filmmaker’s entry into a genre he had yet to explore in his previous work. “I knew from the moment I put the first words on the page, that to do a movie of this complexity, you have to put work into it. Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who created the ˜Avatar’ series, spent six years constructing the mythology.
“It has been a real eye-opener and interesting learning curve for me to do something of this scale, while still wanting to maintain a level of perfection,’ continues Shyamalan. “I was scared to death every day of shooting, as it could be so overwhelming, and there were so many unknowns. This movie is two-and-a-half times bigger than anything I have ever done.”
Since the filmmakers of “The Last Airbenderâ€ are devoted fans of the original series, they have one ultimate goal that they hope to achieve. “We want to create a film that will not only live up to the fans’ expectations, but also expand it to a worldwide audience in ways that only a full length live-action motion picture can offer,” says Shyamalan.
“Avatarâ€ creators DiMartino and Konietzko were extremely helpful with the development of the screenplay for Shyamalan, helping to scale down the many stories to feature film size. “I can’t tell you how comforting it was to have them only a phone call or email away when I got in a jam. Their â€˜Avatar’ mythology is so well thought out that they had an answer and a back story for all my questions.”
Shyamalan had toyed with the idea of doing a franchise type of movie for many years, but never connected with any material. But “The Last Airbender” seemed to have all of the elements that fascinated the filmmaker since he was young, when he first saw “Star Warsâ€—epic fantasy, fueled by an inherent spirituality, and featuring martial arts at its core.
Says producer Frank Marshall, who collaborated with Shyamalan previously on “The Sixth Senseâ’ and “Signs,” “Night has such a signature filmmaking style and a unique way of telling a story. He has the ability to touch an audience in a way that is very broad. In this film he is expanding his talent and range, which is an incredibly exciting prospect.”
Adds producer Sam Mercer, “Night had been interested in and offered other franchise pictures before in his career, but until â€˜The Last Airbender,’ he did not find one that he could make his own—organically, from the first words he put on the page.”
Related Link: The Last Airbender Movie Full Production Notes