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The Animatrix Network is an anime & manga fan club located in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. We usually meet on the third Saturday of each month (except when holidays or conventions coincide). The meetings are free and open to the public. Join us for a day filled with anime.

This site provides news, reviews, commentaries, and previews of the world of anime and everything it inspires, such as live-action films, comics, music, art, and other weird things to enjoy and contemplate.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Super Bowl Ad for The Last Airbender

How's this for a plot twist? M. Night Shyamalan, the writer/director behind the dark thrillers "The Sixth Sense," "Signs" and "The Village," is making a movie based on an animated TV show.

The film is an adaptation of the Nickelodeon series, "Avatar: The Last Airbender," but Shyamalan had to drop the first word in the title to avoid confusion with James Cameron's record-setting blockbuster. It's the most effects-heavy and action-packed movie of the Oscar-nominated director's career. And Shyamalan's inspiration for taking on the project that's so different from his previous work came from very close to home.

Shyamalan told the Los Angeles Times that his daughter insisted their whole family watch the show. After that, he says, "all four of us were hooked. I was like, 'This would make a killer movie.'" And the excitement didn't stop at his kids. "My wife who really has been kind of in neutral about my career was insane about it... [She said] 'You have to do it. This is it. This is the one.'"

In many ways "The Last Airbender" seems like an odd fit for Shyamalan. The movie is more kid-friendly than the films that made him famous. His last outing was the R-rated horror flick, "The Happening." Plus, it is the first time he has directed an adaptation of another work, though he did write the screenplay for 1999's "Stuart Little."

"The Last Airbender" takes place in a world where the four elements -- fire, water, earth, and air -- can be magically controlled by special individuals called "benders." And there is only one person in the world who can manipulate all four. He is the "Avatar," a 12-year-old boy named Aang, played by newcomer Noah Ringer. With the help of his friends, Aang faces the armies of the Fire Nation, let by the villainous Prince Zuko ("Slumdog Millionaire" star Dev Patel).

In addition to the encouragement of his family, Shyamalan has said that the philosophical nature of the original show got him interested in making the movie. He told MTV, "The spirituality, the centering on relationships and family, on inherent optimism... it has all this stuff."

Shyamalan is counting on the film to resonate with audiences just as fully as the series did for his family. Plans are already underway expand "The Last Airbender" into a trilogy, with each movie taking its story from one season of the show.

To preview the massive special effects and martial-arts action in "The Last Airbender," watch the exclusive trailer below. The movie opens nationwide on July 2nd.



Looks awesome! This will actually be the first of a trilogy of Airbender films. Looking forward to seeing this one.

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