M. Night Shyamalan has
threatened confirmed that he plans to make a sequel to The Last Airbender.
There is one dot of comfort, however – production on The Last Airbender 2 will have to take a back seat to some of Shyamalan’s original work.
“It takes so long to make those CGI movies,” the horror director tells Metro UK, reducing the rich and complex story of the cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender to the sum of its special effects. Shyamalan admits that he is conflicted when faced with such a project due to the time investment.
“It’s hard, because it takes two [or] three years [where] I don’t get to make two of my own movies,” he says. “So there’s always a struggle of choosing someone else’s material over my own. Right now, I’m going to go do another one of my own [movies] first, another thriller.”
Given that Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender opened in 2010 to universally excoriating reviews, sticking with his own material would seem like a better choice for the controversial director. Critics and fans alike were dismayed by the film’s weak acting, nonsensical storyline, mediocre effects, and wooden direction. The film earned a pathetic 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and in recent years has become an example of “What Not To Do” in filmmaking.
M. Night Shyamalan has stood by The Last Airbender through the years, but it seems strange that he would feel compelled to revisit it. For better or worse, The Last Airbender 2 would have to be almost entirely recast, and while the film performed decently at the box office, it’s hard to imagine Paramount being terribly enthusiastic about the idea.
The Last Airbender is based on the first season of Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender, and presumably a sequel would follow the events of the second season. Packed with even more drama, resonant emotion, and fantastic new characters, it is possible that season 2 lends itself better to a live-action adaptation than its predecessor.
Still, with the colossal failure that was M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender, a sequel feels unnecessary and almost insulting. Most fans of the series have rejected the film, and Avatar co-creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have politely, but firmly distanced themselves from Shyamalan’s work.
Overall The Last Airbender seems like a
nightmare rather bad idea; hopefully it won’t take Shyamalan 100 years in an iceberg to reach the same conclusion.