If you’re one of those people who were dissatisfied with M. Night Shyamalan having cast a Caucasian to play the lead in his upcoming live-action adaptation of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” (now going simply by “The Last Airbender” to avoid confusion with James Cameron’s sci-fi opus “Avatar”), you might want to avert your gaze, because below are the first two pics from Shyamalan’s movie. The first features the bald Aang, played by real-life martial arts kid Noah Ringer, and the other is a picture of “Slumdog Millionaire’s” Dev Patel as Zuko. Check them both out below, check them outers.
Ringer didn’t need to alter much to play Aang, who uses martial arts to manipulate the weather. Like Aang, Ringer keeps his head shaved and is an expert in martial arts. “It keeps me cool when I’m doing tae kwon do,” says Ringer, a Texas native with a black belt who landed the role after sending a homemade DVD of him practicing the sport. “It’s so cool to get the part.”
Patel, too, seems suited for the film, the first of a planned trilogy. He earned his black belt in tae kwon do before he turned to acting and discovered the television show while filming Millionaire. “I started watching it in my trailer in India,” says Patel, who plays the villain Zuko, a “firebender” (he manipulates flames). “I see why the fan base is so big. It’s got action but a lot of moral messages.”
Shymalan’s “The Last Airbender”, the first of a planned trilogy (what movie isn’t nowadays?), bends its way into theaters July 2, 2010.