Shyamalan Says Last Airbender Sequel Will be Darker, More Kyoshi-rific

Undeterred by rabid negative fan reaction, negative critical reaction, mediocre box office, and a lowly 8% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes (as of this writing), M. Night Shyamalan is soldering on with plans for a second and third “The Last Airbender” movie — that is, if the film ends up making enough money to justify a sequel or two, and the studio greenlights them. At this point, that’s a pretty big IF.

Speaking to MTV, Shyamalan spills on his ideas for the sequels:

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.

And on the missing Kyoshi warriors, who failed to make any appearance at all in the first movie:

We shot [the scene] and [the Kyoshi Warriors] were amazing, and we spent an unbelievable amount of time choreographing them. And they just distracted from the movie, because the movie wasn’t about them.

For those hoping to see the colorful warriors show up in the DVD as deleted scenes, don’t hold your breath. Shyamalan says he’s decided to introduce them in the second movie, and that’s that, jack.

So what are the chances of a “Last Airbender” sequel? The film, made for $150 million (not including promotion and advertising, which are usually equal to or greater than the production budget for big Hollywood movies), has grossed $79 million so far in domestic release. It has still to open worldwide, so there’s always a chance the film will continue to chug along toward a respectable haul Stateside, while cleaning up overseas. Either way, it needs to at least turn in around $300 million or change, with a huge splash on DVD, for the studio to even consider a sequel, much less two.



About Nix

View all Posts

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.

Cool Stories From Zergnet

  • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

    As bad as everyone is hating on the film, I still enjoyed it. That said there was a lot i missed and Suki and the Kyoshi warriors were part of it. I figured they got dropped for time and pacing sake. Plus having him meet Suki and then Yue and fall in love with them both woulda been too much so they chose Yue because of her sacrifice. Makes sense. AnyWHO before I'm lynched I really hope somone else helps write the script so we can get a better second film. For the people saying it didn't resemble the show you're crazy. It perfectly emboidied the show, however he did take license with some of the chracters, none of which greatly offended me I just had to get used to it.

    You see I know what it takes to adapt something from one format to another, and it's a very hard thing to do, especially with something that is loved. Cut one thing you think isn't trully relevant to the overall narative and the fans are ready to burn you at the stake. It's a very slippery slope, but it can be done. However most adaptations are from book or comic to film. Even with TV show adaptations they're not usually taking a cohesive narrative but the idea of the series. This was taking a specific story arc that was 20 epsiodes long (thats 440 minutes) and turning it into less than two hrs. I'm sorry but I have to give him some credit for pulling off what he did. Was it a great film? By no means. Was it decent for an adaptation. Yeah. Was it one of the better ones? Not by far but it showed promise.

    • Amwelling

      My son and I began watching Avatar via Netflix. Luckily, it was something that he and I could watch together that we both liked. So, I was excited to hear about the actual movie that was coming out. A year or two ago when I saw the teasers for it at another movie, I did not even know what it was. Unfortunately, I had heard many negative reviews about the movie. So, I went to the movie with horrible expectations after all of the poor press. Ironically, I did not think it was that bad. Yes, it had some poor acting, loose fit, and absent characters. I totally expected that. To transfer almost 8 hours into 2, well what would you expect? Because of my expectations for myself, I wanted to see if I could make sense of the production in a movie form and its transfer from the cartoon. Rather than go and try to find fault in the film, I went with an attitude of viewing it in a more serious format. After all, many of the emotions, body language, and facial expressions in the cartoon could not be transferred to the movie without losing seriousness and ultimately being viewed as cheesy. You can’t have a serious film and then have body language and expressions that show a characters feelings like the cartoon does and the movie still be taken seriously. Think “the Mask”, and “Son of the Mask”. It would have been impossible to pull off. After all, this is a kid’s show from a kid channel………..Nickelodeon. I did not go to the movie for myself. I went for my son who is 5. And he loved it! He did get scared twice and ended up in my lap but all in all he really enjoyed it. This movie had a difficult setting to pull off. Not too dark or depressing but hopeful, interesting and entertaining. Think about this. Batman was around when I was growing up and it was very kid friendly. Even the 90′s Batman movies were somewhat kid friendly. However, who would take a child like a 5 year old to see the latest Batman? A poor parent that’s who. This brings me to this point. Let the kids be the critics of the film. After all, this is a kids cartoon transferred to a film. If they don’t like it, then it really is bad. Or, maybe too difficult to transfer to film and just better off as a cartoon. But if you as an adult can go with a child and both have a good time then the goal has been accomplished. My son says he would like to see it again. That is enough for me! If they make a sequel, we’ll go see it. If you as an adult feel that the move really was that bad, well, maybe you should quit watching kid cartoons and expecting an adult entertainment. Stick to Family Guy and King of the Hill. Although, I’ll bet if they made those 2 into movies, they would not be so hot either.

    • Amwelling

      Dedpool aka Jiinx, my earlier post not meant to you but rather those criticizing you on your post. I agree with you on the film. I think my post says it all. It’s a kids show cartoon made into a film. And, when I say kids I mean kids. This is not Batman, Spiderman, Hulk, etc from decades ago that we as adults can go see as a movie now(and some of them take a kid too) and find it enjoyable. This is a show that is on Nickelodeon now and made for kids. Maybe in 2 decades they can make one that will be more adult friendly and to an adults taste. My take is this, let the kids decide, and if they don’t like it, well why go any further. But if they do, and the movie makes enough money, I will certainly take my son to see it. Might even see the current one again with him.

      • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

        Here here! My daughter loved it!

        • Haha

          I can see where she gets that from now… lmao…

    • Uknowdj

      Honestly, I enjoyed the movie merely for the nostalgic feel attached to it. I loved the cartoon when I was younger, and still to this day, I’m an Avatar fan. While the dialogue and acting left ALOT to be desired, I must say the martial arts/bending sequences were impressive.

      Hands down, the original series blows the movie far out of the water, but I’ll give Night props for seeing a good story and working with it. Unfortunately, I have doubts about his ability to accurately and sufficiently capture the essence of Avatar without cutting corners after what I saw in the movie. I would’ve even been happy with a little more narration from Katara to aid in the storytelling process.

      I love the series, and I believe it’s undoubtedly worthy of a movie. Although, I would have most definitely went about it in a different way.

    • Sharylinda

      OH please. Hush no nonsense. This movie was crap! excuse my language but I love “love” Avatar (The Last Airbender series). I love Aang not “Ong” as pronounced in the movie, Katara, Sokka, Prince Zuko and his uncle is so adorable and the rest of the characters. I have so much to say about this movie and nothing good about it. Sorry! Was it just me or was Appa scary looking witch “helloooo” are you kidding me!!!! The bending of the elements wasn’t really there, the moves of the actors didn’t at all coordinate with the bending of the elements. And Sokka wasn’t really funny at all, it was just awkward. =( So so so disappointed. I wish it was James Cameron who had done this movie. (sigh) they should just make another one and forget this one ever even came out! Tough to read but it’s the truth.

    • Vctykyukgugkyg

      i agree with Jiinx

    • Guest

      Honestly, I am a true avatar the last airbender fan, but frankly this movie really didn’t as flow towards to what happened in the series. I agree: I think Shyamalan just really had trouble summarizing the whole “book.” Just knowing how much more better he says the other movies are going to be, I just hope he CAN actually dazzle me. The affects were pretty decent just not the plot, dialouge, and scenery. Out of the three that disappointed me was the dialouge and secondly the plot. Did or did not the director have the actors say some of their names with that accent? It seemed as though the director expected to have the audience know about the series. (As in later posts in rottentomatoes.com, some people say that the movie didn’t make any sense. It was a good thing I watched the series.) The one thing I really didn’t understand about the movie was: Why couldn’t firebenders make their own fire? It is what completely does not relate to the series.
      But all in all, I agree, I enjoyed the movie, too.

  • ULIK

    LOL! Don't despair dude,I got your back…..waaaay back.LOL! Just kidding. No your observation in the way the movie was handled was well articulated in the way you can understand how it was a heavy task that most people probably wouldn't have gotten right. Although I don't agree that is was a good movie,I always respect your opinion. Maybe M.N.S can see his many mistakes,get a better screenwriter,a better casting department,etc. and make a better second film. This story deserves it!

  • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

    I didnt say it was good. Just that I enjoyed it. It most definitely could have been better though. And thanks for being reasonable with your reply. The casting wasn't great but it's not the dire issue people are making it out to be. Yes charatcers were miscast but completely changing things now would make the sequel unrecognizeable to anyone who saw the first film. I understand why people are mad about the casting, but in the big picture when you look at all the nations on screen it balanced out. Asian Earthbenders, Indian Firebenders, mixed Airbenders (as they are nomads from different nations) and “caucasian” water benders worked for me. I loved the scene in the Earthbending camp.
    I don't think the cast should've been fully Asian in my opinion as it would've looked less like Avatar and more like a Honk Kong film. Not that that's a bad thing but it STILL wouldn't have been Avatar. I think by diversifying each nation the way he did it added something to the film. And Noah Ringer doesn't even look fully caucasian. The pronunciation doesn't bother me either. A friend of mine made a very good point saying that “Aang” and “Eye-roh” are the Americanized way of pronouncing them for an American audience, and that the proper way of “Aahng” and “Ear-roh” gave it a more ethnic flavor.

    I compare this series with the video game Jade Empire. Both are set in fantasy worlds heavily influenced by Asian culture, but where as Avatar uses that influence as a basis for the nations and such, Jade Empire took it to a more realistic level where everyone WAS Asian and it was more like some lost asian Mythology like Lord of the Rings was meant to be about Britain and Europe. So there's a difference in the way it plays out and the way the cultures are presented.

    • Anonymous

      People are just going to hate. M Night doesn’t make the entire cast Asian so people hate him. He makes the names actually pronounced the way they should be pronounced, to be more truthful to the ethnic languages, and people bash him. He cant win. Not to mention that people treat this show like Anime and not one person who created this show was Asian. Let it Lie, We got other things to talk about. More important things. Hit me up in my email and i’ll tell you what’s going on.

      • missinbodies

        I think you’re missing the point. It’s not about whether MNS is a racist or not, or whether he’s treating ethnic groups with enough respect, it’s about whether he’s treating the source material that he’s using with any respect. By picking actors who are different races then the characters in the show is disrespectful to the source material. By changing the names of the characters to make them more ethnically correct is disrespectful to the source material.

  • Bdb

    I think the only problem of the movie is like Dedpool aka Jiinx putting “20 epsiodes long (thats 440 minutes) and turning it into less than two hrs” is a hard think to do but it can be done! for example take Lord of the Rings i know is from a book and its different but Peter Jackson did it Perfectly! he just left like 2 or 3 chapters but the position was the same the fans were ready too see their favorite things and he did it he pull it off.
    Also they introduce the Fire Lord way to early!! we don't see the face of the Fire Lord until the 3rd book and in the movie he was walking talking to everybody like he was the one who plan everything! and big disappointment that nearly at the end Zuko ask Katara who she is! soo badly done its like they didn't see the cartoon!

  • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

    LOTR wasnt in the same order as the books. Jackson actually made a creative decision in not putting the Shelob fight in Two Towers because chronologically it takes place at the same time as the battle of Pelenor Fields in Return of the King. But with Airbender it's a lil different cuz alot of the episodes of the show were where the character development occurred and they just didn't have time to do that. If anything I think of it as our intro to the characters and world, and a second movie would go deeper into both as well as introduce a few new characters (TOPH!!!). Bringing in Ozai early allows the audience to have a face behind the fire nation, as Zuko is kinda on the fence about stuff and Zhao dies. There was just way too much to fit and the movie suffered. Me and a friend think they shoulda done at least two movies per book or season to get as much in as possible.

  • Guest011

    I swear to GOD/Allah/Buddha/and all the other Oh Mightys, that you must be Night's or Paramount's Employee who is paid to write good reviews/opinions on Crappy movies that is made either by Night or Paramount.

    His adaptations from the animation to the movie is way off the path to promote the animation that the original writers accomplished. I am speaking for all the fans that feels this movie is CRAP, Night should not be involve in this project anymore. He ruined a good animation… ' an American Animation' and a movie that had high hopes of becoming an epic movie for this summer.

    • Jose

      SOOOOOO TRUE!!! he should stick to HIS movies, like signs, the happening! i think peter jackson should have done this project!

      • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

        Peter Jackson would’ve made an awesome movie. But then again the studio may have still made him cut it down and it still woulda felt rushed. It was New Line that told Jackson make 3 movies as all the studios wanted to make 2 movies out of 3 books.

    • Jose

      SOOOOOO TRUE!!! he should stick to HIS movies, like signs, the happening! i think peter jackson should have done this project!

    • Jose

      SOOOOOO TRUE!!! he should stick to HIS movies, like signs, the happening! i think peter jackson should have done this project!

    • Jose

      SOOOOOO TRUE!!! he should stick to HIS movies, like signs, the happening! i think peter jackson should have done this project!

    • Spuddeano

      the movie was a good adaption of a long and intricate series. bad reviews aside I got what I wanted and expected from the movie and of course it pales in comparison to the series but any movie maker would have had to take what they thought was strong and cut whatever else there was. it was good and I would rather see this than some crappy comedy like hot tub time machine.

    • Spuddeano

      the movie was a good adaption of a long and intricate series. bad reviews aside I got what I wanted and expected from the movie and of course it pales in comparison to the series but any movie maker would have had to take what they thought was strong and cut whatever else there was. it was good and I would rather see this than some crappy comedy like hot tub time machine.

    • Btwhwms07

      My son and I just finished watching it. We were so not pleased with the ending but only because now we want to see the rest of the story. It was almost like going on a commercial break that may from what we have read here, be a permanent break. We both actually really liked this movie right up until the last 20 seconds. Would we watch 2 and 3, if they are released? Absolutely without question!

    • Btwhwms07

      My son and I just finished watching it. We were so not pleased with the ending but only because now we want to see the rest of the story. It was almost like going on a commercial break that may from what we have read here, be a permanent break. We both actually really liked this movie right up until the last 20 seconds. Would we watch 2 and 3, if they are released? Absolutely without question!

    • Baseball2709

      i absolutely agree. I watched the TV series everyday after school and on saturday mornings. I guess you could say that i may have been OBSESSED. I loved this show, it was my favorite cartoon of all time for sure. I went to see the movie with high hopes and an optimistic viewpoint. I thought, even if the movie isnt that good, there will be more to make up for it. After this movie I just have one thing to say to Paramount and the world….DO NOT LET M. NIGHT MAKE THE NEXT ONE (that is if there even will be a next one after this disastrous disappointment). The actors were horrid ( I know they are young, but that is why they go through rigorous casting), the dialogue was boring, and 20 episodes of TV were cut down to less than 2 hours. WAY too much was cut out. And also, why can’t Ang hurt anyone?? It completely takes away from his power. In the cartoon, he was obviously the most powerful bender and he demolished guys if he needed to; he was a badass who made people pay if they deserved it. The movie, he doesnt hurt a fly. It ruined the most important character in the movie and story.

    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool
    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool
    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool
    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool
    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool
    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool
    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool
    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool
    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool
  • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

    Nope not a plant. Do reviews here but thats about it. I'm allowed to like what I like even if the masses don't. But you go on and bash those that don't agree with you I won't stop you. But if you can push past your singlemindedness you may see I didn't review the movie or say it was good. I said I enjoyed it. May have to do with my four year old daughter who I took and loved it. She knows the series and yet realized what she was watching was similar but different. There are tons of bad movies out there, some are still fun to watch though. But saying THIS was the worst, people need to get out more. Funny thing is comic fanboys (and I'm one) don't get this irate when a movie is botched. They say the movie was bad and pretty much move on. Ah well, back to the hating. You guys enjoy.

    • Throughthesea

      I loved it. My children, too. After the movie, we went to Blockbuster and rented EVERY Avatar movie (Book 1:5 volumes, Book 2:4 volumes, and Book 3:4 volumes). We had never watched the Avatar series before. I think the film represented the animated series well.

    • Throughthesea

      I loved it. My children, too. After the movie, we went to Blockbuster and rented EVERY Avatar movie (Book 1:5 volumes, Book 2:4 volumes, and Book 3:4 volumes). We had never watched the Avatar series before. I think the film represented the animated series well.

  • xRC

    I am a huge fan of the show while ill agree the movie missed alot of opportunities to tell the story I don't think of it as the worst movie of all time as so many fans of the show are saying. As a fan when something you are passionate about has been modified and is not what you had expected its easy to overlook the things that were done right and go straight into an angry rant. I myself was dissapointed with several things but I still found it to be an enjoyable movie, I think it could have been better but they also could have been alot worse and should he get the greenlight to make another I hope he takes the “constructive” critisism to heart and makes a better movie going forward.

    My biggest hangup with the film is the changing of the names. I understand the argument about pronunciation and thats absolutely fine to do if the source material is your own but you are basing this movie off an already established franchise and changing the names in any way (especially the main characters) is a very poor move and unjustifyable.

    its like saying you can pronounce anything anyway you want because somewhere some culture would say it that way. that is an obvious cop out and I have a hunch that changing the names was his way of trying to make the movie more cultural in lieu of the negative feedback on casting.

    I have a question for MNS, I had heard that he made this movie because his daughter was a fan of the show and Kitara (whose name did not change). Lets assume for a moment that someone else made this movie and changed Kitara to Kat – eara, as a fan of the show how could you possibly look at your daughter and say, well its how its supposed to be said. Right now alot of the kids are looking to their parents and asking why is Aang's name is wrong. Its a butchering on alot of levels and its pretty inexcusable. That being said the damage is done and changing the names back for a second film would be ridiculous. As I said there is alot of good feedback that has been given for improvements and I hope its taken to heart, and that going forward, the movies stick to the source material especially with regards to book 2 characters like Toph, Azula, Ty Lee, and Mai.

    • Dfox3500

      I Agree!

  • Cas Spencer 4

    You know, as an adult it is hard as hell to watch the cartoons they have playing these days. Then by accident I found avatar…maaaan…it was like for 30 min i was back in that nostalgic dream like fascination with this story. Phenomenal…the whole series was. So when i heard about a year ago that the movie was coming out I was absolutely stoked (like some grown women are about Twilight right now lol) that someone was going to attempt it. But, at the same time immediately bummed for 2 reasons….for me MNS has really effed up several extraordinary movies for now apparent reason (maybe “art”). For example, The Village…massive dissapointment.

    Now before you throw fruit at me, I do acknowledge that he has a natural born talent for making his daydreams into movies that really draw you in and entertain you. Very creative and clever man, but when i heard that he was going to “do” this movie…the 14 year old school girl giddiness was gone like a fart in the wind.

    I have not seen the movie and honestly I dont think i will pay the money to go to a theather to see it. If im going to be going thru another frustrating movie experience, like SO MANY lately, id rather do it for under 5 bucks and have the option to pause for a pee break.

    Point blank: Someone else who was more of a FAN should have made it. It would have been true to the story -names, relationships and all-, set up to make us wait for the “next episode”/sequel like we are used to…and most of all not be blinded by thier own ego to feel like they need to “adjust” the story in anyway just because they could.

    seriously wtf…i havent even seen it and i am a sad panda.

  • Cas Spencer 4

    *ahem* my second reason for being aprehensive was that I knew that there was no way that anyone but the Production Holy Trinity could have pulled off this movie with a standard that would do it justice and make them oooodles of money.
    yep that covers it thanks~