Shyamalan Plans His Own Avatar

M. Night Shyamalan is branching out with Paramount’s live-action big-screen adaptation of the popular Nickelodeon animated series “Avatar: The Last Airbender”

Shyamalan will write, direct and produce the adaptation, which Nick hopes will turn into a three-picture series with Shyamalan’s continuing involvement reports the trades.

The story is set in a world balanced on four nations — Water, Earth, Fire and Air. In each society, there are masters who can manipulate their native elements — Waterbenders, Earthbenders, Firebenders and Airbenders — while the one person who can master all four is the Avatar.

When the current Avatar, a 12-year-old boy still learning to master his powers, seemingly dies, the Fire nation launches a war for global domination. One hundred years later, two teens discover and free the Avatar and his flying bison from suspended animation, and he must fight to restore harmony among the four nations.

The project marks the first time that Shyamalan will direct material he didn’t create, along with his first kid-aimed feature. Because James Cameron also is about to film a new project titled “Avatar,” a fight for that title is expected to ensue in court.