Wednesday, March 23, 2011

'Last Airbender 2' Will Be 'Darker,' M. Night Shyamalan Says

"Sequel has not been green-lit, but writer/director already has two scripts in the works."

Source: News

If a $53.3 million holiday weekend proves successful enough to keep M. Night Shyamalan around for a "Last Airbender" sequel, he knows what he wants to do — and he wants to do it darkly. Asked about his intentions going forward, the "Sixth Sense" and "Signs" director confirmed that he has much of "The Last Airbender 2" already mapped out.

"I do," Shyamalan told MTV News. "The third is more ambiguous, but the second one, I've written a draft that I'm really happy with and is darker and richer, and it has a wonderful antagonist in it in Azula, who's kind of like our only real, pure antagonist in the series, so I'm excited about that."

His description of the story implies that Summer Bishil's character from the film currently in theaters has plenty left to do onscreen as Aang (Noah Ringer) continues his fight against the Fire Nation.
As far as what the story will be about and which characters could enter or exit the cast, those decisions may have to wait for Paramount's decision on the franchise's fate. If things proceed, Shyamalan has already shared a few details that could play into his intentions. The elite female Kyoshi Warriors, for instance, will likely play a larger role.
"I probably won't show the Kyoshi Warriors because I want to save them for the second movie, because I'm going to have to introduce them all over again," he said while explaining what would and would not show up in the "Last Airbender" DVD and Blu-ray's deleted scenes.
The characters were initially included in the first film, but circumstances and editing decisions eventually moved them out of the spotlight.

"We shot [the scene] and [the Kyoshi Warriors] were amazing, and we spent an unbelievable amount of time choreographing them," he said. "And they just distracted from the movie, because the movie wasn't about them."
Given that he became much more comfortable with filming in 3-D during his first "Airbender," another round of 3-D filming with the same crew would make sense unless Hollywood's affection for the evolving medium changes overnight.

In the meantime, Shyamalan sounds like he's ready to go if and when an "Airbender" sequel gets the go-ahead.

The Last Airbender: The Powers & Creatures

The Ships

The Dragon


Fire Carrier

Fire Power

Water Power

Momo: The Winged Lemur

Saddled Lizard

The Last Airbender Deleted Scenes


In order to cram 20 episodes of cartoon story into 103 minutes of movie, however, some parts of the "Airbender" tale had to be left on the editing room floor. And when I spoke to director M. Night Shyamalan about the film, I asked him about the scenes that didn't make the final cut.

"The single most difficult decision was [cutting] the Kyoshi Warriors," he said of a chapter in the story that involves Aang, Sokka, and Katara encountering a group of female warriors along their travels.
"We shot [the scene] and they were amazing, and we spent an unbelievable amount of time choreographing them," he explained. "And they just distracted from the movie, because the movie wasn't about them."
According to Shyamalan, the decision to edit out the Kyoshi Warriors had a lot to do with their lack of involvement in the final chapter of the first season — and therefore, the finale of the film itself.
"It was like introducing these great characters who had nothing to do with the third act," he explained. "That's what happens in the series, but in the short form of the movie, it becomes blatant. Where did they go? Why aren't they in the third act?"
"So I made the very difficult decision of pulling them from the movie and introducing them in the second movie if we have the opportunity," he added.
Along with the removal of the Kyoshi Warriors, Shyamalan also admitted to cutting much of the slapstick humor of the story.
"I did it naturally in the first draft, and as the drafts went on, I kept on doing it more," he said of cutting out the jokey side of the trio's adventure. "Then when we shot it, I did it even more, and then when we were editing it, I kept on reducing it."
"What I found was... the audience wants to take this seriously," he explained. "They want this to be real and important to everyone, and if a character is being too silly, they go, 'Okay, I guess he's not very upset. I guess there's not a big threat. I guess the fact that an entire culture's been wiped out is not a big deal.'"
"When everyone has the same threats and value systems going on, you really start to lean in more," continued Shyamalan. "You have to be really careful — a slapstick moment can really drain a movie."