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More are cast in M. Night Shyamalan's Last Airbender

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Cliff Curtis in Danny Boyle's Sunshine

Aasif Mandvi, Shaun Toub and Cliff Curtis have joined the cast of M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender for Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies, the studio announced.

Shyamalan, Sam Mercer and Frank Marshall are producing, with principal photography to begin mid-March.

The three join a cast headed by Noah Ringer, who plays the title role; Nicola Peltz, who plays the Waterbender Katara; Jackson Rathbone, in the role of Katara's brother, Sokka; and Dev Patel, who plays Prince Zuko, prince of the Fire Nation.

Mandvi (TV's The Daily Show) is set to play the role of Commander Zhao, an ambitious and hot-tempered Fire Nation commander.

Toub (The Kite Runner) is cast as Uncle Iroh, the retired Fire Nation general and devoted surrogate parent to Dev Patel's character Zuko.

Curtis (10,000 B.C.) is set to play the ruthless ruler Fire Lord Ozai.

In addition, Keong Sim has been cast in the role of Earthbending Father.

It's unclear how this casting will affect fan protests.

Here's how the studio describes the movie, which is based on the hit Nickelodeon animated TV series: "Air, Water, Earth, Fire. Four nations tied by destiny when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others. A century has passed with no hope in sight to change the path of this destruction. Caught between combat and courage, Aang (Noah Ringer) discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara (Nicola Peltz), a Waterbender, and her brother, Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), to restore balance to their war-torn world."

(9) Comments

@ Get a Life!!!! : Yes, it is a fictional world. A world that just so happens to borrow every little detail from O...More »


By z18 at 4:12 AM ON 03/13/09

I have a deep dread about what this movie will turn out to be like, but still hold out a slim margin of hope that it will pleasantly surprise me. I'll see it either way, I just can't help myself.

Even if it sucks, I can ignore it and will still have the greatness that is the animated series.

By z18 at 4:20 AM ON 03/13/09

one more thing, I"m glad to see that not all the cast will be white washed, and that McCartney isn't Zuko. I could see Dev Patel as Zuko though.

By Rafe at 9:08 AM ON 03/13/09

Ridiculous. Where are the Asians?

By Ranshiza at 10:22 AM ON 03/13/09

After watching the tv show, I became excited at the notion of a series of movies based on this series. There is so much that can be done with it and the stories were all so well written.

After hearing Shyamalan was working on it, I immediately felt dread. The man can't seem to make a movie without doing some type of twist or surprise ending.

Then the cast... White kids playing Asians and Eskimos? Look at the characters names alone and you know they aren't supposed to be white. Adding Asians to the background now makes it even more absurd that the lead characters are white.

I hope the movie turns out to be good, but with each new piece of news, my hopes are dashed more and more. To be honest, I quit holding my breath a long time ago...

By Peter at 10:26 AM ON 03/13/09

Apparently the entire movie will feature just one east Asian: Keong Sim.

Absolutely ludicrous. Nickelodeon and Paramount should be f**king ashamed of themselves.

By Get a Life!!!! at 8:56 PM ON 03/13/09

It's not Earth idiots! Look at the world map in the show, looks nothing like Earth! There's no Alaska no Asia there are "nations" like the Fire Nation, Earth Kingdom, Water Tribe and the Air Nomads. It's fictional!!!! Leave things alone!!!

By misken at 10:12 PM ON 03/13/09

Yay. They feature Keong Sim as the father of the earthbending kid...the guy who gets captured and put on a jailboat.

W00t - glad that Hollywood hasn't broken free of the tradition of only casting Asians as antagonists or people being oppressed.

But wtf isn't Dev Patel Sokka and Nicola replaced by an Indian girl? Iroh and Zuko (Iroh especially) are definitely Asians, even if you presume Aang to be white...

Good job...

By Noah at 10:45 PM ON 03/13/09


Definitely not seeing this... What an insult to a great television series.

By Moi at 3:55 PM ON 03/14/09

@ Get a Life!!!! :

Yes, it is a fictional world. A world that just so happens to borrow every little detail from OUR world. There's Chinese writing throughout the series. Many of the characters look Asian. They wear Asian clothing. They have Asian names. Chances are? THEY'RE ASIAN.

A greater case can be made for hiring Asian actors than there can be for white-washing the entire production.

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