Fans of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender can rejoice once they hear what M. Night Shyamalan (The Happening, The Sixth Sense) plans to do with his live-action film adaptation of the series. Shyamalan spoke to Empire Online about how he sees Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Shyamalan described the plot of the series as follows:
As epic as the scope of the story is, what attracted Shyamalan, known for his philosophical approach to film, was the deeper story in the film. "Buddhist and Hindu philosophies run through the stuff," Shyamalan says. "When I realised that is what it was, it really drew me as the template for putting storytelling on a new level. There is a kind of thread that connects Star Wars and The Matrix - the first one. That same thread is in this story, about a forgotten belief system, or the illusion of the world now."
But the deep story alone won't be all that we see, of course. "Obviously [there will be] some breathtaking visual effects," the director says. "Just imagine if you saw a little girl bending water out of a glass into the air as an extension of her own personal discipline. It's three movies about the hero learning three elements. Live action."
While a film of this scope is different than anything Shymalan has previously worked on, the filmmakers' philosophical approach to movies should blend well with the tale being told in the animated series.
Also, a story from Variety from today reported that Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies will both distribute the film, with a release date slated for July 2, 2010. They will also drop the "Avatar" from the title, to avoid confusion with James Cameron's film, Avatar, which will be released on December 18, 2009.