The Premiere of The Last Airbender
Live-action movie opens July 2
Helping create The Last Airbender was like creating a piece of art said one of the movie's producers Sam Mercer. Mercer joined Director M. Night Shyamalan and a variety of actors at the red-carpet premiere of the movie in New York on Wednesday. The Last Airbender opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, July 2.
The movie is based on Nickelodeon's animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and brings the illustrated Northern Water Tribe Village, the Air Temple, and the Fire Nation to life in 3-D.
On the red carpet, the very real actors talked to the Scholastic Kids Press Corps about bringing the animated series to the big screen as a live-action movie.
When asked about her favorite scene in the movie, Seychelle Gabriel, who plays Princess Yue, gave a guarded answer. She didn't want to give away any surprises, so this Kid Reporter won't either.
Noah Ringer who plays Aang said his most challenging scene was where he and Prince Zuko (played by Dev Patel) are fighting. It was a hard scene with a lot of action and breaking pots.
Jackson Rathbone, who plays Sokka, remembered filming the scene when he, Katara and Aang are captured by the Fire Nation. The scene lasts eight minutes, but took much longer to film because there is so much action.
"I got to use my boomerang!" he said with a totally Sokka smile.
Creating a live-action movie from an animated series was not as hard as it could have been, said director Shyamalan, because the writers "think in movie terms." He created a blue spirit in one scene exactly as it appeared in the animated show.
Before the movie began, Shyamalan came out on stage to talk about how making this movie was a dream come true for him. He said the first time he watched the animated show he was so hooked that he couldn't move.
"I didn't even eat," he added.
He knew right away he wanted to make a movie of this story. When selecting the actors, he turned to Youtube.com for the very first time, where he saw Noah Ringer.
"I knew I had to meet him," he said. "I met this boy who took martial arts, and was home schooled, and there was a unique sweetness about him. I knew he had to play Aang!"
The results are the The Last Airbender, the story of a lone Avatar who can control the four basic elements of life.
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Danielle Azzolina is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.