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The Last Airbender

Theatrical Poster
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Produced by Frank Marshall
Kathleen Kennedy
Sam Mercer
Scott Aversano
Written by M. Night Shyamalan
Michael Dante DiMartino
Bryan Konietzko
(Original Story)
Starring Noah Ringer
Nicola Peltz
Jackson Rathbone
Dev Patel
Shaun Toub
Aasif Mandvi
Cliff Curtis
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Andrew Lesnie
Editing by Conrad Buff
Studio Nickelodeon Movies
Blinding Edge Pictures
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) July 2, 2010 (2010-07-02)
Country United States
Language English

The Last Airbender is an upcoming 2010[1] Action, adventure-fantasy film based on the first season of the highly successful Emmy-winning animated television series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. It is a live-action film adaptation of the animated television series produced by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies.[2] It is planned to be the first film in the The Last Airbender trilogy. The series, influenced by Asian art, mythology and various martial arts fighting styles, was created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, and was adapted by M. Night Shyamalan, who will also direct and produce the film along with Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Sam Mercer and Scott Aversano. Filming began in mid-March 2009; the movie is scheduled to be released on July 2, 2010.[3][4]

The film stars Noah Ringer as Aang, a reluctant hero who prefers adventure over his job as the Avatar. Aang, and his friends Katara and Sokka journey to the North Pole to find a Waterbending master to teach Aang and Katara the secrets of the craft. At the same time, Fire Lord Ozai, the current Fire Lord of the Fire Nation, is waging a seemingly endless war against the Earth Kingdom, the Water Tribes, and the already vanquished Air Nomads. The film also stars Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, and Dev Patel.



In a world where the elements, Water, Earth, Fire, and Air can be controlled by people known as "benders", the Fire Nation is waging a ruthless war to control the other great nations. The only hope for stopping the war rests on the shoulders of a young boy named Aang (Noah Ringer). The last known Airbender and survivor of the peaceful Air Nomads, Aang is the Avatar. The Avatar is the physical embodiment of the world, with the ability to control all four elements and draw upon the combined power, knowledge, and experience of the Avatar's previous incarnations. The Avatar's duty is to maintain peace between the four nations and the spirit realm, ensuring that the world remains in balance, despite the Fire Nation's war. Aided by a protective teenage Waterbender named Katara (Nicola Peltz) and her warrior brother Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), Aang begins a perilous journey to restore balance to their war-torn world. Standing in their way is the ambitious Fire Nation Admiral, Zhao, (Aasif Mandvi) and Prince Zuko (Dev Patel), the banished prince of the Fire Nation who seeks to capture Aang to regain his honor.


  • Noah Ringer as Aang,[5] a 12-year-old, though technically is a 112-year-old, "Avatar" whose duty it is to protect the world. He is capable of bending all four elements, though at the beginning of the film he has only learned to airbend. He is fun-loving and carefree and gets distracted with fun which affects his responsibilities.
  • Nicola Peltz as Katara,[5] a 14-year-old and the last remaining waterbender from the Southern Water Tribe. She is Aang's good friend and love interest.
  • Jackson Rathbone as Sokka,[5] a 15-year-old warrior from the Southern Water Tribe and Katara's older brother. He can be condescending, but is still considered the leader at times.
  • Dev Patel as Prince Zuko,[6] a 16-year-old prince who travels with his uncle and tries to capture the Avatar in order to regain his honor and position as heir to the Fire Nation throne.
  • Shaun Toub as Uncle Iroh,[7] an older man who is extremely easy-going and friendly and often acts as a surrogate father to his nephew, Zuko.
  • Aasif Mandvi as Admiral Zhao,[7] a hot-tempered Fire Nation Commander in pursuit of the Avatar. He is Zuko's principal rival.
  • Seychelle Gabriel as Princess Yue,[7] a princess and the daughter of the Chief of the Northern Water Tribe. She is also Sokka's love interest.
  • Jessica Andres as Suki,[5] a leader of the young female warriors of Kyoshi Island, the Kyoshi Warriors.
  • Cliff Curtis as Fire Lord Ozai,[7] the leader of the Fire Nation. He is the primary antagonist in the series.
  • Katherine Houghton as Kanna, the grandmother of Katara and Sokka.




On January 8, 2007, Paramount Pictures' MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies announced that they had signed M. Night Shyamalan to write, direct and produce a trilogy of live-action films based on the series; the first of these films will encompass the main characters' adventures in Book One. The film was in a dispute with James Cameron's film Avatar regarding title ownership,[8] which resulted in the film being titled The Last Airbender.[4]

According to an interview with the co-creators in SFX Magazine, Shyamalan came across Avatar when his daughter wanted to be Katara for Halloween. Intrigued, Shyamalan researched and watched the series with his family. "Watching Avatar has become a family event in my house ... so we are looking forward to how the story develops in season three," said Shyamalan. "Once I saw the amazing world that Mike and Bryan created, I knew it would make a great feature film."[9] He added he was attracted to the spiritual and martial arts influences on the show.[10]

Avatar co-creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko voiced their opinion within an interview regarding M. Night Shyamalan writing, directing and producing the film. The two displayed much enthusiasm over Shyamalan's decision for the adaptation, stating that they admire his work and, in turn, he respects their material.[11] Producer Frank Marshall explained that they have high hopes to stick to a PG rating. "I'm not even sure we want to get in the PG-13 realm. Furthermore, Shyamalan said, "I took away a little bit of the slapsticky stuff that was there for the little little kids, the fart jokes and things like that...We grounded Katara's brother...and that really did wonderful things for the whole theme of the movie."[12]

Shyamalan also said he will write the second film while preparing to shoot the first.[13]


It was great. They flew us all out to Philly. 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

Jackson Rathbone, Sokka in The Last Airbender

Shyamalan originally offered the roles of Aang to Noah Ringer; Sokka to Jackson Rathbone; Katara to Nicola Peltz; and Zuko to Jesse McCartney.[14] In an interview with People Magazine, Shyamalan claimed that he did not want to make The Last Airbender without Nicola Peltz, the actress who plays Katara, "I said that only once before in my career, and that was when I met Haley in the Sixth Sense auditions."[15]

The casting of white actors in the Asian-influenced Avatar universe triggered negative fan reaction marked by accusations of racism, a letter-writing campaign, and a protest outside of a Philadelphia casting call for movie extras.[16][17][18][19] Rathbone dismissed the complaints in an interview with MTV, saying, "I think it's one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan. It's one of those things where, hopefully, the audience will suspend disbelief a little bit."[20] Movie critic Roger Ebert was one of the critical voices against the casting. When asked about casting a white cast to portray the characters, he said, "The original series Avatar: The Last Airbender was highly regarded and popular for three seasons on Nickelodeon. Its fans take it for granted that its heroes are Asian. Why would Paramount and Shyamalan go out of their way to offend these fans? There are many young Asian actors capable of playing the parts."[21]

In February 2009, Dev Patel replaced McCartney, whose tour dates conflicted with a boot camp scheduled for the cast to train in martial arts.[22][23] Katharine Houghton and Seychelle Gabriel are expected to play "Gran Gran", the grandmother of Katara and Sokka, and Princess Yue, another of Sokka's love interests and princess of the Northern Water Tribe, respectively.[24] Isaac Jin Solstein is playing an earthbending boy.[25] Aasif Mandvi will play Commander Zhao, Shaun Toub will play Uncle Iroh, Cliff Curtis will play Fire Lord Ozai, and Keong Sim has been cast in the role of an Earthbender.[26]


Pre-production began in late 2008, while filming began in March 2009 in Greenland. After two weeks, the cast and crew moved to Reading, Pennsylvania, where production designers and special-effects crews worked for several weeks, preparing the local site for the film.[27] A production team scouting the area found the Pagoda on Mount Penn, which served as an ancient temple in the film.[27] Reading, Pennsylvania Mayor Tom McMahon explained that crews made road improvements and buried electrical lines surrounding the structure.[27]

Filming also took place in Ontelaunee Township and at the William Penn Memorial Fire Tower in Pennsylvania after the production crew finished at the Pagoda. When asked about filming the movie in Reading, Pennsylvania, Pamela Shupp, vice president of Berks Economic Development said, "They needed buildings to shoot all the interiors, and were looking for a group of buildings with high ceilings and specific column spacing. We showed them a number of buildings, but we couldn't come up with enough to meet their requirements. So the interiors will be shot in Philadelphia."[27]

According to Frank Marshall, principal photography for the film has finished and post-production has started.[12]


In December 2008, James Newton Howard was announced the composer for The Last Airbender.[28] This will be the seventh collaboration between Howard and Shyamalan. Howard most recently received acclaim for his work with Hans Zimmer on The Dark Knight.[28] On May 13, 2009, producer Frank Marshall announced that Howard was recording music for the teaser trailer that was later released that summer.[29]



The teaser trailer for the film was attached to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, released in theaters on June 24, 2009.[30] The teaser trailer was also shown on Entertainment Tonight on June 22, 2009 as an ET network exclusive.[31] The trailer shows Aang airbending in a temple which is being attacked by a multitude of Fire Nation ships. A theatrical trailer was to be released around Christmas 2009, but it was pushed back until February 2010 because not enough visual effects shots were completed.[32][33] This trailer was attached to the Percy Jackson film released on February 12, 2010.[34]

The first TV spot for the film aired during the 2010 Super Bowl on February 7, 2010.[35] It showed parts of the film that were not shown in the teaser trailer and had no diagetic dialogue, but merely narration. On February 10, the theatrical trailer was released online.[36] It shows multiple scenes from the movie and is an expanded version of the first TV spot.


Two original black-and-white manga will be written by Dave Roman are expected to be released on June 1, 2010.[37] The prequel manga will be illustrated by Nina Matsumoto and the movie adaptation, expected to be published in June 2010, will be illustrated by Joon Choi.

“We’re excited to be working with Nickelodeon to bring these great stories to the manga audience,” says Dallas Middaugh, Associate Publisher of Del Rey Manga. Avatar: The Last Airbender has shown incredible crossover appeal with manga fans. The release of The Last Airbender movie and original tie-in manga gives us the chance to share completely new stories with Avatar fans looking for more about Aang, Zuko, and their favorite characters.”[38]

Action figures

On February 9, 2010, Nickelodeon Consumer Products debuted the upcoming line of toys based on The Last Airbender. It includes various 3 3/4-inch action figures, as well as larger, action-enabled figures, costumes and other props. Among the toys featured in the line were figures based on Aang, Prince Zuko, Sokka, Katara, and a fully ride-able Appa the Sky Bison.[39]

"We worked very closely with M. Night, the rest of the Paramount team and our in-house design team, along with our partner Spin-Master, to come up with the right assortment, the right size for these action figures and make sure we we had representation of all the nations within the 'Airbender' series," said Nickelodeon's Lourdes Arocho. The Last Airbender action figures are expected to be released in three "waves"; wave one on June 1, wave two near the movie's July release date, and wave three near the 2010 holiday season.[39]


  1. ^ McClintock, Pamela; Gabriel Snyder (January 8, 2007). "Shyamalan's 'Avatar' also to bigscreen". Retrieved June 29, 2008. 
  2. ^ Sarafin, Jarrod (June 10, 2008). "Paramount and M.Night Shyamalan Previews LAST AIRBENDER". Mania Entertainment. Retrieved June 29, 2008. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Stephenson, Hunter (April 15, 2008). "M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender Gets Release Date, Director Update, “Avatar” Dropped From Title". /FILM. Retrieved June 29, 2008. 
  5. ^ a b c d Nicole Sperling (December 10, 2008). "Shyamalan lines up his cast for 'The Last Airbender'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 10, 2008. 
  6. ^ Michael Fleming (February 1, 2009). "Shyamalan cast floats on 'Air'". Variety. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c d "More are cast in M. Night Shyamalan's Last Airbender". Sci Fi Wire. March 13, 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2009. 
  8. ^ Pamela McClintock (January 8, 2007). "Shyamalan's 'Avatar' also to bigscreen". Variety. Retrieved January 9, 2007. 
  9. ^ ""Nickelodeon's Avatar Returns to Restore Peace to The Four Corners of the World and Prepares to Face Off With the Fire Nation Once and for All". January 2009. 
  10. ^ Mike Szymanski (October 7, 2008). "Shyamalan Unveils Airbender Secrets". Sci Fi Wire. Retrieved October 7, 2008. 
  11. ^ Mike Szymanski (March 17, 2007). "Avatar Creators Praise Night". Sci Fi Wire. Retrieved March 17, 2006. 
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ Larry Carroll (November 5, 2008). "Shyamalan Eager To Transform Image With ‘Last Airbender’ Franchise". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  14. ^ Nicole Sperling (2008-12-10). "Shyamalan lines up his cast for 'The Last Airbender'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  15. ^,,20340703,00.html
  16. ^ Graeme McMillan (2008-12-17). "Avatar Casting Makes Fans See... White". io9 (Gawker Media). Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  17. ^ Jeff Yang (2008-12-29). "'Avatar' an Asian thing- why isn't the cast?". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  18. ^ Naomi Tarlow (2008-12-29). "Protesters oppose "whitewashing" in new Shyamalan film". Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  19. ^ Michael Klein (2008-12-27). "Inqlings: More zzz's for CBS3 newsies". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  20. ^ Larry Carroll (2009-01-15). "'Twilight' Star Jackson Rathbone Hopes To 'Show His Range' In 'Last Airbender'". MTV. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  21. ^ Roger Ebert (December 23, 2009). "Answer Man". Roger Ebert. Retrieved December 26, 2009. 
  22. ^ Michael Fleming (2009-02-01). "Shyamalan cast floats on 'Air'". Variety. Retrieved 2009-02-01. 
  23. ^ Slumdog Millionaire Star Joins The Last Airbender| /Film
  24. ^ "Inqlings: For Manuel, a job he can phone in". 2009-04- 09. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  25. ^ Connelly, Brendon (June 9, 2009). "New Last Airbender Casting Stays On Right Side Of Racebending Debate?". /Film. Archived from the original on January 7, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2010. 
  26. ^ "More are cast in M. Night Shyamalan's Last Airbender". Sci Fi Wire. 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  27. ^ a b c d George Hatza (April 1, 2009). "'Sixth Sense' director shooting new movie in Reading beginning Thursday; Pagoda to get a close-up". Reading Eagle. Retrieved April 1, 2009. 
  28. ^ a b
  29. ^
  30. ^ Sciretta, Peter (April 28, 2009). "The Last Airbender Teaser Trailer Attached to Transformers 2". /Film. Archived from the original on January 8, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2010. 
  31. ^ Sciretta, Peter (June 20, 2009). "A Brief First Look at The Last Airbender Teaser Trailer". /Film. Archived from the original on January 8, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2010. 
  32. ^ Sciretta, Peter (August 24, 2009). "The Last Airbender Trailer For Christmas". /Film. Archived from the original on January 8, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2010. 
  33. ^ Sciretta, Peter (December 3, 2009). "The Last Airbender Trailer Delayed Until February". /Film. Archived from the original on January 8, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2010. 
  34. ^ Steinberg, Brian (December 21, 2009). "Who's Buying What in the Super Bowl 2010". Advertising Age. Archived from the original on January 8, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2010. 
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ a b

External links

Noah Ringer
Occupation Actor
Years active 2009–present

Noah Ringer is a child actor set to star as Aang in the upcoming film, The Last Airbender. The film is based on the popular television show Avatar: The Last Airbender, and is being directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The cast list for the film adaptation was announced on December 10, 2008, and filming began in March 2009.


Acting career

Ringer obtained the role of Aang after submitting a homemade DVD of himself practicing the martial art of taekwondo. He was also a fan of the television show. He was nicknamed Avatar because he looked like Aang.[citation needed]

Martial arts

Ringer keeps his head shaved and is an expert in martial arts. When asked why he shaves his head, by a USA Today writer, he responded, "It keeps me cool when I'm doing tae kwon do." Dev Patel, set to play Zuko in The Last Airbender, has also earned his black belt in tae kwon do before he turned to acting. Even though he is seven years older and a foot taller, Patel states that in a martial arts match between the two, "Noah would knock me flat on my back."[1]


Year Title Film/Television Role Other notes
2010 The Last Airbender Film Aang Based on Avatar: The Last Airbender


External links

Simple English

Noah Ringer
Born Noah Andrew Ringer
November 18, 1996 (1996-11-18) (age 14)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 2010–present

Noah Andrew Ringer (born November 18, 1996)[1][2] is an American actor who starred as Aang in the film The Last Airbender. He was discovered in an open casting call for Airbender in Texas.[3] He has also been cast in the upcoming film Cowboys & Aliens as Emmett.[4][5][6]


Life and career

Ringer is a young taekwondo practitioner who was born and raised in Dallas, Texas.[7] At age 12, he achieved a first-degree black belt rank with the American Taekwondo Association and is proficient with a variety of Eastern weapons. He is part of a taekwondo club, from which he heard about Paramount Pictures' open casting call to play Aang.[3] For his audition, he sent in a homemade video that depicted him showing off his skills in martial arts.[8][9] After being signed for The Last Airbender movie, he joined the Creative Artists Agency.[3]

Ringer attended the 2010 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards on March 27 with his Airbender cast mates Nicola Peltz, Dev Patel, and Jackson Rathbone to debut the new TV spot for the film. He watched Nicola Peltz and Jackson Rathbone perform "Slimebending".[10] While on site, he was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times about the movie.[11]


Year Film Role Notes
2010 The Last Airbender Aang
2011 Cowboys & Aliens Emmett


  1. Is 13 as of July 2, 2010 -
  2. According to the State of Texas. Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997. Searchable at
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 9, 2009). "Noah Ringer heeds Shyamalan's call". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  4. "Cowboys & Aliens". DreamWorks Studios. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  5. Kroll, Justin (April 16, 2010). "Noah Ringer". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  6. Marnell, Blair (April 19, 2010). "'Last Airbender' Star Noah Ringer Joins 'Cowboys And Aliens' Cast". Splash Page (MTV). Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  7. Bowles, Scott (May 25, 2009). "First Look: Actors put up a real fight in 'Airbender'". USA Today. 
  8. Bowles, Scott (May 21, 2009). "First Look: Actors put up a real fight in 'Airbender'". USA Today (Gannett Company). Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  9. Fleming, Michael (February 1, 2009). "Shyamalan cast floats on 'Air'". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  10. "Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kids' Choice Awards - Arrivals". LIFE. Time Inc. March 27, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  11. D'Zurilla,Christie; Kaufman, Amy (March 27, 2010). "2010 Kids' Choice Awards: the red carpet, the winners". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved April 18, 2010. 

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