Shyamalan Has Cast his Airbenders

M. Night Shyamalan has gone down to Texas and found himself the lead for his upcoming mega franchise “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, which as I hear, has just been shortened to “The Last Airbender”, probably to keep it from being confused with James Cameron’s oft-talked about but rarely seen “Avatar”. The film’s main character, a 12-year old name Aang, will be played by Noah Ringer, a karate-kickin’ champ from Texas. Well, at least you can’t say the kid can’t fight, cause, you know, he probably had to kick a lot of tail to get that “champ” tag, because I’m sure they don’t hand that out to everyone, or else you would be calling me Champ Nix right now, but you aren’t, so they don’t. Moving on.

EW has your Airbender casting call:

After an open casting call in Texas, Shyamalan discovered karate star Noah Ringer and offered him the part of Airbender’s 12-year old hero, Aang, an Avatar with superpowers who must stop the Fire Nation from destroying the world. Twilight’s Jackson Rathbone has been asked to play Aang’s pal Sokka, while Nicola Peltz (Deck the Halls) will star as his sister Katara. Genial singer Jesse McCartney, meanwhile, is negotiating to play against type in the role of the Fire Nation’s evil prince Zuko.

The first in the potentially lucrative fantasy franchise opens in theaters July 2010. Two more movies are planned, but nowadays in Hollywood, every movie is a “planned trilogy” until the box office receipts come in.

By the way, the whole arrow on the forehead thing sported by the lead character? Worst tramp stamp — EVER.

Below: Fantasy convention geeks: good, clean fun, or the bane of mankind’s existence? You decide.