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M. Night Shyamalan maintains The Last Airbender is true to the show

03.15.2010

Alright people, listen up. This is the first time I've been able to address you about this since my conversion, but here goes. Go watch "Avatar: The Last Airbender." The entire series. I’ll wait.

Why yes, you’re right, it IS possibly the greatest animated show ever made. The past two weeks I’ve been working my way through the series, and upon completion, I have to say it’s simply amazing how a Nickelodeon anime knockoff yielded a show this entertaining and exciting, and characters this complex and likable.

And now, after hearing UGO talk to M. Night about his vision for THE LAST AIRBENDER, and how it’s staying true to the show, I have to say I’m officially excited about this project, and I’m even willing to put THE HAPPENING out of my mind.

The highlights that fans will appreciate:

• The Last Airbender is very much the first in a planned trilogy. Night compares it to Lord of the Rings in that it is all one story not, "more adventures" with your favorite characters. The three films will mirror the three seasons of the series, with some tweaks.

• Night plans to direct all three, but before the second one he wants to bang out a smaller-budgeted thriller.

• Momo is absolutely in the movie. Night still hopes to find a moment where Momo does something really important and somehow saves the day, but for the first one he's in there "just for fun."

• That said, our expectations for the amount of comedy in the films has been managed. Night warns that "what works in the show won't always work in the film" and some of the broad comedy has been cut. Prepare yourselves now - there will be no cabbage salesman in the film. The fate of Penguin Sledding remains inconclusive. (You can parse the reply when you see the video.)

• During one enthusiastic moment discussing the CG effects, the phrase "Master Pakku using water like nun-chucks" was used. Everyone in the room responded, "Coooooool."

• Night hopes the CG in The Last Airbender will be unique in that there isn't as much quick-cutting as in commonly seen in CG-heavy films. Go back and look at his other films and you will see a lot of long takes. This means the CG is going to have to be really top notch, because it can't be hidden away with cutting.

• The writing in the film (in, say, the Waterbending Scroll or Aang's "Wanted" poster) will not be Chinese calligraphy as in the show, but an Asian-inspired pictorial language created just for this movie.

Of all the time to pull through in the clutch M. Night, this is it. 

Extra Tidbit: If you could control one element, what would it be? Don't say Heart.
Source: UGO

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