May 7, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Cliff Curtis to star in M Night Shyamalan’s newest film, the Last Airbender

2 min read

We’ve received word that actor and producer Cliff Curtis (Te Arawa) has been cast in M Night Shyamalan’s newest film, the Last Airbender. Curtis plays Prince Zuko’s father, played by Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire.

The Last Airbender is an upcoming action-adventure fantasy film scheduled to be released on July 2, 2010. It is a live-action film adaptation based on the first season of the animated television series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. The first of a planned trilogy, it will be produced by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. The series, influenced by Asian art, mythology and various martial arts fighting styles, was created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, and was adapted by M. Night Shyamalan, who will also direct and produce the film along with Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Sam Mercer and Scott Aversano. Filming began in mid-March 2009; the movie is scheduled to be released on July 2, 2010 in both traditional two-dimensional projectors, as well as in 3D.

CliffCurtisFThe film stars Noah Ringer as Aang, a reluctant hero who prefers adventure over his job as the Avatar. Aang and his friends, Katara and Sokka, journey to the North Pole to find a Waterbending master to teach Aang and Katara the secrets of the craft. At the same time, Fire Lord Ozai, the current Fire Lord of the Fire Nation, is waging a seemingly endless war against the Earth Kingdom, the Water Tribes, and the already vanquished Air Nomads. The film also stars Nicola Peltz (Deck the Halls) andJackson Rathbone (Twilight).

There have been complaints that Shyamalan’s version of the story which was heavily influenced by Asian airt and mythology, has been “whitewashed” by casting Caucasian actors in many of the leading roles. The LA Times reported that “although creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko were heavily influenced by Asian martial arts lore and incorporated elements of Chinese and Tibetan cultures, the characters had no explicit race. But some Asian Americans saw the film’s casting as the latest in a string of insults from an industry in which it was once common for white actors to squint their eyes and spout fortune-cookie wisdom while Asian actors were confined to playing opium-den extras.”

On the film’s Philadelphia set last summer, Shyamalan took issue with the idea that “The Last Airbender” presents a lily-white version of the cartoon’s universe.

Ultimately, this movie, and then the three movies, will be the most culturally diverse tentpole movies ever released, period,” he said. “So if I’m failing the bar, I’m not sure whose bar is set higher than this movie.”

4 thoughts on “Cliff Curtis to star in M Night Shyamalan’s newest film, the Last Airbender

  1. wtf ? white washed ? there were nothing but indians! last time i checked most of them in the anime were chinese/ japanese based characters where the hell did all these indians come from? its like the director hired his family ,they ruined prince zuko .
    who turns a hot ASIAN prince INDIAN was that the directors son or something?
    HUGE fail, should of never hit theaters .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.