Shyamalan lines up his cast for 'The Last Airbender'

M. Night Shyamalan has found the cast for The Last Airbender, his upcoming live-action film based on the popular anime-inspired Nickelodeon series. The youthful group is mostly filled with unknowns who are likely to be household names by the time Paramount opens the first in its potential three-film franchise in July 2010. After an open casting call in Texas, Shyamalan discovered karate star Noah Ringer and offered him the part of Airbender’s 12-year old hero, Aang, an Avatar with superpowers who must stop the Fire Nation from destroying the world. Twilight‘s Jackson Rathbone has been asked to play Aang’s pal Sokka, while Nicola Peltz (Deck the Halls) will star as his sister Katara. Genial singer Jesse McCartney, meanwhile, is negotiating to play against type in the role of the Fire Nation’s evil prince Zuko.

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  • Anonymous

    Those names don’t sound Asian. They better be asian kids with non asian sounding names, or else this is HIGHLY OFFENSIVE!!

    • kenji

      hahaha i wish man, but they arent. shame huh? zuko’s dark skinned and sokka and katara are white!

      • DGN

        plus Aang is supposed to be slightly skinny and they use this chubby fat kid. when i first saw his face in a trailer i thought it was some kind of joke. He looks nothing like what I would picture Aang to look like.

  • Anonymous

    ok i just googled those names and NOT A SINGLE ONE IS ASIAN! I understand when adapting things for an American audiences not all the kids would be Asian, but not a single one! Are you freaking kidding me! Has Shyamalan ever seen the show. So now we can teach a whole generation of children that stories about Asian fantasy lands are great but White children are better to look at on screen. That is EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE!

    • mike

      I cant believe Zuko is played by the kid from slumdog millionare. That just hurts my feelings.

      • Gazza

        Actually, I think Dev will be good- better than Jesse McCartney at least- besides, Dev’s a pro at karate, so we know he’s up for the job.

    • Replies to this post

      The show itself isn’t Asain. It’s produced by an American company and made by an American cartoonist. Cartoonist. It’s not even anime. I’m not entorelt convinced Katara, Sakka, or Aang are supposed to by Asian.

      • Lina

        The show was produced by an American company, yes. But it’s based on eastern asian culture. The spiritual beliefs, martial arts, and asian names. You should look up the information about it. The style is influenced by anime and US cartoons.

      • Anonymous

        dude are you serious. The characters arent evidently white. Sokka and Katara are dark skinned characters, while Aang has an asian background. Come on, can you get any dumber???

      • matt

        dark skined… so that makes them asian? come on! they live in the arctic! that is no where near an asain culture, aang ok yes his character is probably influenced by tibetin monks or something and the kid is from texas… weird but he has a bit of a tan lol and every one in the fire kingdom is middle eastern…. not exactly asain but close enough for me

      • Mimosa

        LOL Matt. How old are you, and who lives in YOUR version of the artic? Surely, not the Inuit people!! They’re not Eastern Asian, so they can’t be Asian at all, right?

    • Me

      its not even on earth, the fire nation is really the only one that would be asian in this movie, the water tribe is more inuit, the air is buddists, and the earth, well, is america lol. everyone in the earth nation are all diverse in nationality, so they are pretty much america. and like everyone else said the cartoon was american made and they even MADE FUN OF anime, so dont critizise something you have no idea about.

    • DGN

      I completely agree. Changing that is like changing the whole movie around. Watching the trailers, the whole world of Avatar doesn’t look realistic, nor does it look like the one from the show, so I have no idea at what they were trying to get at. M. Night Shyamalan had great potential for the movie and completely screwed it up.

  • Jordan

    Offensive? Did you see The Happening?! That sh*t was offensive! Shyamalan is going to f*ck this up for sure.

  • John

    Hey Anonymous: I hate to break it to you, but The Last Airbender is an American show…yup, voice actors, writer and director (who came off of Family Guy), all American. The voice actress for Katara was on “Ghost Whisperer” at the same time, as a matter of fact.

    • Gazza

      hey, john: AMERICAN DOES NOT EQUAL WHITE. Your comments are deeply offensive to basically every non-white person born and living in America

    • Glen

      How f**king stupid are you, John?

    • offended

      Hey dumb sh*t John, I completely agree with Gazza; America is NOT comprised of solely whites! You’re an ignorant ass.

  • John

    Oh, I forgot. I agree with Jordan. I hate M. Knight Shamalamadingdong. I wish someone would break his hands so that he can never touch a camera again. He is going to ruin “Avatar” (which was such an awesome show.)

  • Fatima

    If they ain’t Asian, I ain’t watching. It’s a wonderful cartoon. I don’t need a misguided self-inflating artiste to ruin it.

  • Amy

    I was hoping it would be a multiracial cast. It was an American show but it was based off Asian cultures and themes… sigh… They really messed up with the casting. I mean in no way does Jesse McCartney=Prince Zuko! They should have just had Rufio play him in the movie even if he is old now.

  • Anonymous

    hey john, I that has to be the dumbest response ever. No sh#t it’s an American Show but the entire culture was based in an Asian setting. I guess the clothes, the names of the characters (i.e. AANG, Kitara, Sokka), or the WAY THEY DRAWN wasn’t a big clue enough for you?

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry I guess me stating “I understand when adapting things for an American audiences ” was me implying I thought this show was Asian, I meant to say “adapting things for an American movie audience.”

  • sean

    Avatar is the best cartoon series ever, & the fact that it’s embedded in Asian culture makes it more rich. M. Night’s pick of the cast is offensive, as i’m sure he could’ve found plenty of Asian actors to stay true to the chars. Also, M. Night being a minority & knowing the scarcity of minority roles makes this even more offensive (this is nothing against the actors chosen, however). In addition to this, M. Night is the worse director for this series (a horror director for Avatar, WTF??). They should’ve got Alfonso Cuaron or Speilberg, who understand teen aganst. Also, M. Night’s last movies, e.g., the Happening, the village, have been HORRIBlE. Yes, i’m greatly disappointed in the cast & M. Night’s being the helm of this great series. UGGGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Olivia

    Wow, but i’m really not so surprised that none of those actors are asian. Shyamalan is just asking for it. Avatar fans are not going to be happy. lol..cause i know im not. Although i’m a big fan of twilight, and completely shocked that Jackson Rathbone will be Sokka…never would i have ever guessed that.

  • apatel

    Please please please have Shyamalan drop out! And oh.god.no. NOT jesse mccartney!!!!! Why do they have to ruin the GREATEST animated show of all time?! They should have just made an animated feature film with the writers and creators of the original.

    • Me

      its not gonna be jesse :D dont worry cus i just looked it up and its gonna be some other guy

  • mar

    um? why are they all white?!?!? i expect more coming from this director. ugh!!!!!

  • mar

    and, there was an opportunity to show different types of asian people. ones with different skin tones. to educate american audiences that all asians are not the same. its bad enough i have to see a white guy as the prince of persia.
    and, wow. this pisses me off. i…wha? how can you comodify a culture and then not give credit where credit is due? i guess thats the american way.

  • mister f

    Oh My God! Why is everyone CAUCASIAN?
    I know it would be hard for everyone to be cast as Asian, but having the principle cast as very, very, very, white people will pretty much ruin Aang’s and Zuko’s themes (since they’re really Asian-influenced). Stupid M. Night Shyamalan vision!
    I’ll be laughing if everyone’s family members turn out to be racially mixed! “Why in Uncle black???”

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