Archive for March, 2009

First Photo of Fire Nation Soldiers

March 29, 2009

Last Airbender Fans got a hold of what appears to be the first photo of Fire Nation soldiers in costume! It looks like they’re preparing to film a scene on a Water Tribe (Southern or Northern) set.  

Lights, Camera, Airbend!

March 20, 2009

(Click to enlarge)

First picture of the Water Tribe set in Greenland, courtesy of Sermitsiaq! Filming is set to take place between March 23 through April 3, potentially totalling six minutes worth of the final film. It’s also worth noting that the film’s budget is estimated at $250 million! If that’s true, Paramount must have a lot of confidence in the production.

Mandvi, Toub, and Curtis Join the Search

March 15, 2009

Aasif Mandvi will take on the role of the evil Fire Nation Commander Zhao.

 

The Dragon of the West has a face! Shaun Toub has been cast as the wise, kind, and powerful Uncle Iroh.

 

Cliff Curtis will portray Fire Lord Ozai!

Keong Sim has also been cast as a as yet unnamed Earthbending father.

Principal photography is set to begin mid-March 2009!

The Search for Mongolian Extras

March 5, 2009

Casting director DeeDee Ricketts is on the move again, this time in Northern Virginia, as she searches for potential citizens of the Earth Kingdom!

“We’ll make you look like a warrior,” the casting director with dirty-blond curls tells the boy. She holds up a camera and says, “Now don’t smile.”

“Smile!” calls the boy’s father, who was born in Ulan Bator.

“No, he shouldn’t smile,” a casting assistant tells him. “They don’t like people to smile because it’s not how you really look.”

And what do Earth Kingdom citizens look like?

Like they’re from Mongolia. Or Cambodia or Laos. Something like that. Exotically Asian, at least. Like they could be an extra in a movie that’s based on a series that’s inspired by many Eastern traditions, from Japanese anime and Tibetan Buddhism to kung fu cinema and yoga. “Night doesn’t know what it is he wants, but he’ll know it when he sees it,” says DeeDee Ricketts, the casting director.

Ricketts also responds to the allegations of whitewashing the main cast.

“When you take a beloved story that has a fan base, you’ll never be able to make everyone happy,” says Ricketts, the casting director, who was not involved with the casting of principal roles. “There’s been some talk that we’re casting authentic Asians as a response to the backlash, which is totally wrong because our world is multi-ethnic and the ‘Avatar’ world will be multi-ethnic.'”

It’s also interesting to see the Post also got reactions from some of the actors at the casting call on the controversy.

“Yeah, I read about the controversy,” says Melanie Thong, 24, of Annandale. “I mean, Jesse McCartney? If it’s an Asian movie, you should have an Asian cast.”

“If you watch the show, all of them are our skin color,” says Liso Neou, 23, of Tysons.

“You can’t even name five Asian actors,” says Thong, rhetorically.

“Chow Yun-Fat . . . Jackie Chan . . . Jet Li . . . ” says Neou, and stops.

“Kids need to know there’s more diverse actors out there,” Thong says, her point made.

For more, visit the Washington Post.