- Cast: Jackson Rathbone, Dev Patel, Nicola Peltz, Cliff Curtis, Jessica Andres, Noah Ringer, Seychelle Gabriel, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi, Randall Duk Kim, Dee Bradley Baker, Katharine Houghton, Ben Cooke, Keong Sim, Ali Khan, LA'Tino, Rohan Shah, J.W. Cortes, Mayank Amin, Francis Guinan, Sammy Cesare, Jonathan Brunone
- Director: M. Night Shyamalan
- Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
- Producers: Scott Aversano, Frank Marshall, Sam Mercer, M. Night Shyamalan
- Co Producer: Jose L. Rodriguez
- Executive Producers: Michael Dante DiMartino, Kathleen Kennedy, Bryan Konietzko
- Art Direction: Richard L. Johnson
- Casting: Douglas Aibel
- Costume Design: Judianna Makovsky
- D.O.P.: Andrew Lesnie
- Makeup: Lori Hicks
- Music: James Newton Howard
- Production Design: Philip Messina
- Set Decoration: Larry Dias
Based on the hugely successful Nickelodeon animated TV series, the live-action feature film is set in a world where human civilization is divided into four nations: Water, Earth, Air and Fire.
The Fire Nation is waging a ruthless, oppressive war against the other three nations. The film's hero, the reluctant young Aang (Noah Ringer), is the "Last Airbender" -- the Avatar who, according to prophecy, has the ability to manipulate all of the elements and bring all the nations together. Aided by a protective teenage Waterbender named Katara (Nicola Peltz) and her bull-headed brother Sokka, Aang proceeds on a perilous journey to restore balance to their war-torn world.
Jackson Rathbone plays Katara's brother Sokka, and Dev Patel plays Prince Zuko, prince of the Fire Nation. Mandvi is set to play the role of Commander Zhao, an ambitious and hot-tempered Fire Nation commander. Toub is cast as Uncle Iroh, the retired Fire Nation general and devoted surrogate parent to Dev Patel's character Zuko. Curtis is set to play the ruthless ruler Fire Lord Ozai. Keong Sim has been cast in the role of Earthbending Father.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: Greenland; Pennsylvania, USA
- Production Companies: Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, Blinding Edge Pictures, Kennedy/Marshall Company
- Production Schedule: 2 April 2009 - August 2009
2010 Guide Analysis: "It has been quite the decade for M. Night Shyamalan, who started it as a household name with label of a modern-day Hitchcock thanks to the likes of "The Sixth Sense" and "Signs". Today he's considered more of a one-trick pony and in some cases a punchline due to rampant stories of ego run wild, and a series of highly derided flops like "Lady in the Water" and "The Happening".
Thus 'Airbender' marks a potential return to form. An adaptation of the hit cartoon series "Avatar", the film's name was changed to avoid confusion with James Cameron's epic, the pre-existing story and formula for young adult-aimed adventure fantasy epics takes the auteur outside of his usual "Twilight Zone"-esque thriller comfort zone.
In fact this is a genre plagued by pedestrian visuals and often drenched in far too much exposition, so the benefits of his atmospheric shooting style and restrained use of dialogue can definitely be seen as a plus. The story sounds interesting enough, though the 'Chosen One' prophecy angle is becoming more and more tiring with each and every show and film that exploits overused Messiah mythology.
The film has undergone a bit of a controversy for its 'whitening up' of the multi-ethnic cast of the animated series. That story wasn't helped by the reveal that "Slumdog Millionaire" star Dev Patel was actually a replacement for the whiter-than-snow Jesse McCartney for the film's villain. As we approach the release though it's likely that criticism will die down and the debates over the film's quality will take over."