Get your first look at Noah Ringer, 12, who is making his feature-film debut opposite Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel in M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender. For years, Ringer has gone by the nickname "Avatar" because he looked so much like the lead in the Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender. Check out the first two images care of USA Today below.
Ringer didn't need to alter much to play Aang, who uses martial arts to manipulate the weather. Like Aang, Ringer keeps his head shaved and is an expert in martial arts. "It keeps me cool when I'm doing tae kwon do," says Ringer, a Texas native with a black belt who landed the role after sending a homemade DVD of him practicing the sport. "It's so cool to get the part."
Patel, too, seems suited for the film, the first of a planned trilogy. He earned his black belt in tae kwon do before he turned to acting and discovered the television show while filming Millionaire. "I started watching it in my trailer in India," says Patel, who plays the villain Zuko, a "firebender" (he manipulates flames). "I see why the fan base is so big. It's got action but a lot of moral messages."
The live-action feature opens July 2, 2010.