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The Last Airbender (2010) Poster

Trivia

Although this movie does not take place in Philadelphia, (like all of M. Night Shyamalan's other movies) some of the movie was shot there.
In Britain, "bender" is a slang term for a male homosexual, so lines in this movie such as "Look out, he's a bender!" resulted in plenty of giggling in UK movie theaters, making it difficult for audiences to take the film seriously.
Dev Patel expressed dissatisfaction with the final film.
The film was intended to be the first part of a trilogy, however due to its poor reception, Nickelodeon scrapped the other two. It wasn't until 2015 where Nickelodeon decided to revive the trilogy.
In spring of 2010 (before the film's release), director M. Night Shyamalan was quoted by Entertainment Weekly as saying The Last Airbender was his "best movie".
Noah Ringer submitted an audition tape of himself doing martial arts with a completely shaved head with Aang's signature arrow tattoo painted onto his forehead to Paramount Pictures. This video is what won him the role.
The film was originally titled "Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005)", after the TV show it was based on. However, James Cameron and 20th Century Fox had already registered the film title Avatar (2009), so the word was dropped from the title to avoid confusion.
The creators of the show, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko both hated the film, and officially said they'd pretend it doesn't exist.
The first draft of the script included all 20 episodes from the first season, which added up to a running time of over seven hours.
Dante Basco, the actor who voiced Zuko in the original series, wanted to play Zuko in the film. Many of the producers also wanted Basco to play the role, but M.Night Shymalan had already chosen Dev Patel for the role. Supposedly some people also believed that Basco, who was in his thirties at the time, may have been too old to be portraying a teenager in a live action movie despite this, apparently few people had any objections to Jackson Rathbone being at least ten years older than his character (Sokka) during the time in which filming was taking place.
Tied with The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010) for the most Razzie nominations at the 2011 Razzie Awards, the award show honoring the worst motion pictures of the year. Each film had nine nominations. Airbender was nominated for every category besides Worst Actor and Worst Actress. The movie ended up winning five of the Razzies it was nominated for, including Worst Picture of the year. One of those awards was won by actor Jackson Rathbone, who appeared in both films and thus, was awarded the Worst Supporting Actor trophy for that year.
In the original show this is based on, the earth benders prison is on a metal ship. In the movie, it is on ground. Many people think this is a major story problem.
The most expensive movie ever produced by Nickelodeon Movies, with a budget of US$150 million and an additional US$130 million in advertising.
Nickelodeon did not give the film any nominations at the 2011 Kids Choice Awards, despite the fact that 'Airbender' was a Nickeloden Movies motion picture.
On the set of his previous movie Slumdog Millionaire (2008), whenever Dev Patel had some free time on the set he would watch an episode of the cartoon series to prepare for his role as Zuko.
The picture Zuko carries of his family is identical to the one from series, seen multiple times throughout the series and hung at the beach house.
Sokka's stone-tipped spear, the knife in his belt, and a trident harpoon seen briefly in his tent, were all made by Barry Howe of Lethal Lithics in Wisconsin, USA. Not made of plastic or rubber, these are actually very dangerous weapons.
Dee Bradley Baker, who voiced Appa and Momo in Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005), voices them again for the film.
The film's failure may be attributed to the fact that extensive changes to its source material where made in order to rush it into production and be converted to 3D in time for a blockbuster release.
Nicola Peltz was M. Night Shyamalan's only choice to play Katara.
Jesse McCartney was originally cast to play Zuko, but was replaced with Dev Patel due to scheduling conflicts.
Almost 30 minutes of footage was cut from the theatrical release because Paramount Pictures wanted the film converted to 3D as quickly as possible, in an effort to save money. They had already invested over $150 million into the movie's production.
Noah Ringer had to attend acting school before filming began.
M. Night Shyamalan first started watching the cartoon when his daughter wanted to dress as Katara for Halloween one year.
A scene involving the Kyoshi Warriors and the introduction of their leader Suki (Sokka's other love interest) was filmed but removed from the final cut, due to the director's belief that it was a separate story and would only distract from the movie's main storyline.
Jackson Rathbone originally auditioned for the part of Prince Zuko.
Dev Patel submitted a tape to the studio, auditioning for the part of Zuko. This was before he had achieved international success with Slumdog Millionaire (2008).
Zac Efron auditioned for the part of Sokka, and M. Night Shyamalan offered him the role, but he had to turn it down because of scheduling conflicts.
Noah Ringer holds a Black Belt in Taekwondo, which is one of the reasons why he was chosen for the Title role of Aang.
According to Industrial Lights and Magic, the bending VFX seen in the movie were the most difficult to render.
Although the characters of "Sokka and Katara" are meant to be only a few years apart, Jackson Rathbone is actually 11 years older than his on screen sister Nicola Peltz.
This is the seventh collaboration between composer James Newton Howard and Director M. Night Shyamalan. This would mark the fourth longest relationship between director/film music composer in Hollywood at the current time. John Williams and Steven Spielberg at over 36 years, and Alan Silvestri and Robert Zemeckis and Carter Burwell and Joel Coen at 26 years, and Danny Elfman and Tim Burton at 14 years continuously however going on for 25 years with the exception of Ed Wood (1994) rank ahead of those director/composers who are still active.
The VFXperts based the air-bending VFX on dust/snow particles.
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Although the word was dropped from the title, avatar is derived from a Sanskrit word which literally means "those who descend".
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The release of this movie prompted a group of fans to remodel a 1985 Chevy Astro van into an Appa look-a-like, known as The Appamobile.
The first film directed by M. Night Shyamalan that was not based on an original script.
According to M. Night Shyamalan, the "mispronunciation" of the names of some of the characters (Aang, Sokka, Avatar, etc) is due to the fact that he wished to 'honor the source material' and use the Asian pronunciation.
M. Night Shyamalan called Dev Patel on the phone to personally inform him he had gotten the part of Zuko.
The first PG-rated film (in the USA) M. Night Shyamalan has directed since Wide Awake (1998).
Converting the film to 3D cost an extra $5-$10 million.
Another "giant change" M. Night Shyamalan made from the animated series to the big screen was to limit the Fire Bender's source of fire. Only the highest of the Fire Benders can conjure flames from their chi.
Paramount set about casting for the film by initiating a specific internet site where applicants could submit their casting tapes.
Rather than software, computer graphic cards were the basis for "bending" the elements, allowing previews to be viewed more swiftly. This resulted in M. Night Shyamalan directing more than sixty takes before the effect was finished and lined up with his visions.
At $150 million, This makes this film M. Night Shyamalan's and Nickelodeon's most expensive film.
The first Nickelodeon movie based on a Nicktoon to ever be nominated for a Razzie award, no others have been nominated possibly due to them being animated and it's rare for animated films to be nominated for Razzies.
Jackson Rathbone stated his fight scenes in the movie were his favorite scenes to film.
Dragon Spirit, a new character that is not from the show, is supposed to be a combination of Avatar Roku, Fang, Koh and Guru Pathik from Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005).
119 people were in the orchestra conducted by James Newton Howard during the recording of the score.
This movie won The Golden Rasberry Award For Worst Picture.
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After the moderate critical success from After Earth, Nickelodeon stated in 2015 that they want M. Night Shyamalan to make a sequel to this film. Shymalan has confirmed that he will be working on the sequel after his next "thriller".
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