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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Avatar: The Last Airbender

By guest contributor Patrick Lundberg

In the new emerging trend of animated series to full length films, Nickelodeon has informed its legions of fans that Avatar Aang is coming to the big screen. Yes, they are making a live action film of the animated series. In fact, they are making a trilogy of films. Production begins in May of next year (2009) between Philadelphia and, of all places, Greenland. Of course, Greenland is a logical choice for the film set as the first movie will be based off of Season 1 (also known as Book One: Water) of the animated show, which took place largely at the North Pole fortress of the Northern Water Tribe.

For those of you not familiar with Avatar (HOW DARE YOU), I would like to take this opportunity to further ruin your social life by addicting you to this show. To truly describe and explain the depth and bredth of the series and its background would take far too much space on this blog, so allow me to direct your attentions here. In true Wikipedian style, the article tries to describe far too much in far too little space, but the extensive linking pages will give you a much better understanding of the universe itself. But in order to really appreciate (and become addicted) to the Avatar phenomena that is Aang, Sokka, Katara, Zuko, Toph, Suki, Appa and Momo, you MUST WATCH THE SHOW.

Go here to watch episodes online for free, or watch the various re-runs on Nick (usually on Friday evenings). Try to start from episode one if you can. I guarantee that you will not only become addicted to the characters and the storyline, but you will so immerse yourself that by episode 6 you will have the entire opening sequence memorized. And then you will buy Season 1, 2 and 3. As the count down to the films wears on I will try to sell you more on this amazing series, so I will leave it at that for now.

In regards to the title strikeout, James Cameron is currently wrapping up a project similalry titled "Avatar" and has (for lack of a better phrase) thrown a temper tantrum about what he percieves as title infringement. Thusly, the films will be titled The Last Airbender, which most likely will be followed in a Star Wars-esc chronology such as "Book One: Water".

For real fans, if the concept of a live action version of our favorite animated show doesn't sound appealing, take consolation in the knowledge that a trilogy of animated movies following the Avatar universe (possibly following the Season 3/Series Finale) will also be made in the next year and a half (for TV) and will be under the guidance of the show creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko.

Now here is the make or break factor: the films are going to be directed by M. Night Shyamalan, infamous hit or miss director of such brilliant films as Signs, Unbreakable and the Sixth Sense. He also was responsible for such grandiose garbage as The Happening, The Village and Lady in the Water. I am terrified (and am joined by literally millions of other fans) that M. Night is going to kill the franchise for Nickolodeon and destroy a film trilogy with enormous potential. The man has told the fans and writers that he is totally dedicated to the story and will transform the animated show into faithful live action. He reassurance isn't so reassuring to me; M. Night has a reputation in Hollywood for being far too full of himself on occasion and making catastrophic decisions based entirely off of pride and ego. If he messes this up I will break him like Toph breaks rocks. For now though, I will believe in him.


Patrick Lundberg is a crime fighter AND a drug smuggler tycoon. Occasionally he is called upon to stop himself, making for some rather paradoxical and eventful evenings.


Ezra Edmond said...

Nicely stated. I too fear the wrath of M. Night but hey he wrote Stuart Little and that was okay. I think he has some untapped potential that needs some serious tapping.

I do wish that he wouldn't do a story that we have already seen tho, especially if he tries to create (in the true style of M. Night) a random crazy twist, which could take the franchise of a cliff never to return.

I think though, that if he picked another area of the same universe perhaps, then it would be a much better Idea. Either way, I'll give him a chance... at least until I see the trailer....

Mark Donica said...

wrote, not directed stuart little mein good ezra. eeeh?

yeah i hope he doesn't ruin this universe.

If you like avatar, download the new MMORPG, Legends of the Arena.

Wilder Shaw said...

Never seen the show.

No comment.

Ezra Edmond said...

You really should check it out. It's a pretty well done show. Captivating Characters and story as well as very attractive animation.

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