Posts Tagged ‘Twilight’

Paramount Gambles Big With Airbender

June 25, 2010

A recent LA Times Business article has revealed that not only has Paramount invested $150 million into the production of The Last Airbender, but also a gargantuan $130 million into the marketing campaign, making The Last Airbender more than twice as expensive as any of M. Night’s previous films! Paramount Chief Executive Brady Grey doesn’t seem worried.

“Like every filmmaker, Night has had his hits and misses, but I believed in his vision and that he could execute it,” Grey said, adding “It’s a bold step because he had to create a potential new family franchise.”

With an unprecedented cross-promotional marketing campaign between Viacom owned networks Nickelodeon,  MTV, Comedy Central, Spike TV, and CMT, one can hardly fault him for his optimism. However, Airbender does face stiff competition in the third entry in the Twilight Saga, Eclipse, opening a day earlier.

“I’m hoping after they see ‘Eclipse,’ they’ll come see our movie,” Shyamalan said.

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Picture This: New Stills of Jackson Rathbone

May 31, 2010

Jacksonrathbonesource.org has been posting some cool hi-res pictures of Jackson Rathbone as Sokka during the month of May. Today they had a couple of new additions which we at Last Airbender Film though everyone should see.

Check out Jacksonrathbonesource.org for more great pictures featuring everyone’s favorite boomerang-wielding idea guy.

I Think I’m Turning Japanese

March 26, 2010

A Japanese theatrical trailer for The Last Airbender surfaced on the internet today. Those that were disappointed with the second theatrical trailer’s lack of fresh material will be very pleased.

Thanks to Last Airbender Fans forum member Project 86 for the tip.

M. Night On Zuko’s Mom, Book 4, and Poster Signing

March 15, 2010

Greetings my fellow Hotmen. While it will be a few more days before the video of the roundtable discussion will be released to us, our friends at Paramount have agreed to let us give our loyal readers & Last Airbender fans a little preview of the events that transpired on March 11 in New York City.

Three Last Airbender fan sites were invited to participate in the discussion with M. Night Shyamalan: Jordan from AvatartheLastAirbenderOnline.com, Teddy from LastAirbenderFans.com, and myself.  Joining us at the discussion were entertainment journalists from IGN, io9MTV, Jordan Hoffman from UGO whom was particularly fond of the blueberry muffins, and many others. After a brief breakfast at The W Hotel in Times Square, where the aformentioned blueberry muffins were served, we sat down for what turned out to be an hour long discussion with M. Night.

While each writer was only able to ask one question on film due to time, I was able to squeeze in three. M. Night spoke on the film with what can only be described as child-like enthusiasm, and would often deviate into other topics related to a question. After the discussion he was even kind enough to sign our choice of either an Aang or Zuko theatrical one-sheet. While we cannot go into too much detail until the full videotapped discussion is released, here are some juicy tidbits to whet your appetite.

  • The world of The Last Airbender is inspired by Asian culture, much the same way The Lord of the Rings is inspired by Midieval Europe. The story of this film does not take place in our world, hence the absense of East Asian caligraphy that was prevalent in the animated series.
  • M. Night was just as mystified by the lack of resolution in the Zuko’s Mother story arc in Book 3, and declared he will make it a priority to do so in the films.
  • Sillier moments and characters from the show, such as the Cabbage Man, will not be a part of the film.
  • He met with Mike & Bryan during the production of Book 3 to be sure that they had no plans to extend the story into a possible Book 4, before he moved forward with the production of The Last Airbender. Night wanted to be sure it would end in Book 3.
  • Casting the lead characters was done without bias. Any actor of any race had a shot at the roles. Once the lead characters were cast, the people of their respective nations were cast as the same or similar race.
  • Toph will be Asian in the sequel.

 The full video discussion will be available in a few days time. Keep an eye out for it!

Two New Teaser Posters

January 26, 2010

Yahoo! Movies updated their Stills gallery today with two new teaser posters for The Last Airbender, featuring the titular character Aang on one, and a very Book 3-ish looking Prince Zuko on the other.

It is interesting to note that these posters are running with the vague Summer 2010 release date, rather than the official release date of July 2. A release date shift could possibly be in the works, to steer clear of the third Twilight film.

Looking Ahead

November 24, 2009

Those sparkling vampires, and buff werewolves of the Twilight saga may be the biggest hurdle The Last Airbender will have to overcome to reach box office success next year. New Moon, the second of the Twilight films, opened this past weekend grossing an astonishing $142 million, smashing the highest grossing Midnight opening and single day records in the process. The next film in the saga, Eclipse, opens next year on June 30, a mere two days before The Last Airbender hits theaters. What the wild success of New Moon spells for The Last Airbender at this point is uncertain, but it wouldn’t surprise us if Airbender’s release date is pushed up or back at least a week in light of the very real competition Eclipse will surely bring to the box office.

Shooting to Start This Week in South Philly Seaplane Hangar

April 12, 2009

According to a report by Philly.com, shooting is set to begin this week at one of the largest soundstages on the East Coast.

This week, M. Night Shyamalan and his Last Airbender cast and crew will shoot at the Navy Yard in South Philly on what could be the largest soundstage on the East Coast.

It’s a World War II seaplane hangar that served as the PX for the Navy until it was decommissioned – 75-foot ceilings over about 100,000 square feet, or almost two football fields, including end zones. Paramount knocked out the hangar’s temporary columns, walls, and ceilings, so it’s all clear. “Built for war and indestructible” is how Greater Philadelphia Film Office head Sharon Pinkenson describes it. Before Shyamalan got ahold of it for his action film, it was used for storage of equipment for the X Games during the winter between the competition’s two summers in Philadelphia.

After doing a little researching around I managed to find a picture of the hangar/sound stage. This thing is huge!

South Philly Hangar Sound Stage

South Philly Sound Stage Hangar-- ©2008 Everett Priestley

Frank Marshall added a picture of the hangar to his Twitter site this morning!

Navy Hangar Set -- © 2009 Frank Marshall

Navy Hangar Set -- © 2009 Frank Marshall

This is a Warrior’s Wolf-Tail!

April 7, 2009

Pictures have found their way online of Jackson Rathbone sporting his Sokka hairdo!

“Well, it certainly tells the other warriors that you’re fun and perky!”

McCartney Banished, Dev Patel is Prince Zuko!

February 2, 2009

In a rather unexpected turn of events, Variety reports that Jesse McCartney has pulled out of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender due to scheduling conflicts with his musical career. What a twist!

“Jesse had tour dates that conflicted with a boot camp I always hold on my films, and where the actors here have to train for martial arts,” Shyamalan said.

Stepping into the role of the banished Prince Zuko is Taekwondo blackbelt and Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel! Shyamalan on choosing Patel to take over the role…

Patel was “already one of the guys I was interested in. Then I saw ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ and the kid just grew in my eyes,” he said.

On a related note, Jackson Rathbone has worked out his scheduling conflicts with the Twilight sequel also filming later this year, and will be playing Sokka.

Rathbone Hopes to Show Range

January 17, 2009

MTV spoke with Jackson Rathbone about The Last Airbender in a new interview.

On the audition…

“It was great. They flew us all out to Philly,” Rathbone remembered of his audition. “I got to meet the other castmembers that they hired on. I got to read with them, even. It was a blast. It was a great chance to get a free trip to Philly and get a chance to meet M. Night. He’s an incredibly nice guy, and I think we hit it off pretty well, and now I get to play Sokka.”

On Avatar: The Last Airbender…

“It’s a fantastic show,” Rathbone said of the Nickelodeon animated series. “I’ve always loved that kind of deep, mythical fantasy. It’s got a lot about the four elements: water, fire, earth, wind. It’s just really cool. It’s a really interesting series and such a cool character. I’ve always liked the show, and I thought it would be fun.

On his hopes…

“For me, it’s a great chance to show my range a little bit more,” Rathbone added, comparing Sokka to his “Twilight” character. “It’s a chance to do something a little funnier. Something less serious than Jasper.”

On the whitewash controversy…

“I think it’s one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan,” he said of the transformation he’ll go through to look more like Sokka. “It’s one of those things where, hopefully, the audience will suspend disbelief a little bit.”

On M. Night Shyamalan…

“I think ‘Airbender’ has a lot of suspenseful twists as a TV show, but I think it’s something he’s really looking forward to, for expanding his own horizons,” Rathbone said. “He has kids. How many films has he made that his kids would be able to watch? So I think it’s really great that he’s making a family film. I have a sister; it’s exciting to make a film that my whole family can enjoy.”

For the full article and to view a video interview with Jackson Rathbone, click the link above.