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M. Night Shyamalan has just locked up the cast for his next movie, The Last Airbender. No his actors will not be plants, or in the case of Mark Wahlberg blocks of wood.
The Last Airbender is based on an Emmy winning anime series which airs on Nickelodeon, about a world full of people who use martial arts and manipulate the elements. Most of you have never heard of it, and according to EW you’ll also have never heard of his cast. He’s filling the movie mostly with unknowns. The movie’s star, Aang, will be played by a karate star named Noah Ringer whom Night found at an open casting call in Texas. Aang’s sister Katara will also be played by an unknown, named Nicole Peltz.
The biggest names involved are probably Jackson Rathbone, whom fangirls may remember as the twitchy sixth member of the Cullent clan, and Jesse McCartney who used to be known for pretending to sing and being likable. Rathbone will be Aang’s buddy Sukka while McCartney is actually the movie’s baddie, an evil prince of the Fire nation named Zuko. I wonder if his first name is Tony? Instead of monologuing will the villain take off his shirt and reveal his plans in a sensitive, yet approachable musical number?
Give M. Night some credit, at least he’s trying something different. On the other hand this is supposed to be a trilogy of movies. That takes a real studio commitment and seriously big financing. How has he managed to convince anyone to back him, after producing a string of flops and now, casting his movie with people no one has ever heard of? Shyamalan must be a killer salesman. Expect to see The Last Airbender in theaters some time in 2010.