Avatar: The Last Airbender is an iconic animated series celebrated for its rich narrative arc and deeply resonant characters. This beloved cartoon has garnered a devoted fanbase, particularly through its live-action adaptations. While Netflix’s new Avatar: The Last Airbender series has garnered a lot of buzz, this one hasn’t elicited as much controversy as M. Night Shyamalan’s 2010 live-action rendition.

M. Night Shyamalan’s Avatar: The Last Airbender
M. Night Shyamalan’s Avatar: The Last Airbender

Shyamalan’s interpretation of Avatar: The Last Airbender faced a myriad of challenges from conception to release. One of the most highlighted issues was the wrong way of handling the original script. Despite the initial agreement between creators and filmmakers regarding the original script, the intervention of ghostwriters altered the fate of the show.

The Script Woes in M. Night Shyamalan’s Avatar: The Last Airbender

M. Night Shyamalan
M. Night Shyamalan (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

M. Night Shyamalan‘s action-adventure fantasy film, Avatar: The Last Airbender, is the very first live-action adaptation of the beloved cartoon series. This movie is based on Book One: Water, the first season of the animated television series of the same name created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko.

Also Read: Avatar: The Last Airbender Fans Get to Relive Their Childhoods Once Again, New Webtoon Episodes Drop Every Saturday

However, M. Night Shyamalan‘s film rendition was widely criticized for certain reasons. While the blame does not rest solely on Shyamalan himself, the blame often falls upon the shoulders of the producers whose decisions significantly shaped the final product.

The producers, who are actually in charge of at least 80% of production including casting brought on a ghostwriter to cut down Shaymalan’s original script. It happened even after co-creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino approved Shyamalan’s script.

The relentless interference ultimately drained Shyamalan’s enthusiasm, leaving him disheartened by the end of the ordeal. Consequently, he opted to disengage from discussions surrounding the film, choosing to collect his paycheck without further comment. However, had the original script been safeguarded from external tampering, the film could have flourished to its full potential.

Also Read: “I shouldn’t even bring it up”: Dev Patel Stayed Away from Blockbusters After Miserable Avatar: The Last Airbender Experience That He Couldn’t Shake Off 

The Troubled Production of  M. Night Shyamalan’s Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender

The interference in the script wasn’t the sole misstep made by the producers in M. Night Shyamalan’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. In fact, the producers had significant influence over the entire casting process for the film.

Also Read: Even the Creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender Admitted a Season 1 Episode Crossed the Line

Paramount Pictures, in collaboration with Nickelodeon Films, initiated the casting procedure, which resulted in the selection of Nicola Peltz. Peltz’s casting raised eyebrows as it was widely believed to be influenced by nepotism as she’s the daughter of one of the producers of this film (via JoBlo).

Her limited experience of appearing in only two films before The Last Airbender along with Peltz’s average audition test further fueled concerns about the casting process. Ultimately, the producers’ unfamiliarity with the source material and their decision to cast Peltz contributed to racially questionable casting choices in the film.

Moreover, the misallocation of the film’s budget made a major shift in shooting locations. It also led to built green screen sets for shooting compromising the visual integrity of the film. Eventually, the compromised production and lukewarm reception of the film not only disheartened M. Night Shyamalan but also disappointed fans.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!
Explore from around the WEB