Watch: M. Night Shyamalan talks characters’ race, anime from ‘Airbender’

07.01.10 7 years ago

It’s a tough job to whittle down six hours of a dense, action-packed animated  television show’s first season into a 2-hour live action flick for kids and adults — and director M. Night Shyamalan felt it was his job to do it.

The “Sixth Sense” mastermind sat down with HitFix this week to discuss his latest “The Last Airbender,” in deciding what stayed and what had to go when it came down to shooting the thing.

Then there’s the whole issue of turning anime characters into moving, convincing actors. Even with the whiz-bang of CGI, 3D and a slew of special effects, there was still a question of the characters looking like their animated counterparts, particularly in race.

The original series’ characters’ styles contained “culturally ambiguous features… [you’re] meant to see yourself in it,” Shyamalan said. And some actors just naturally looked the part. “Noah Ringer is Aang. There’s no one on the planet that’s more like Aang.”

“Airbender” is out tomorrow (July 2). Check out HitFix’s Drew McWeeny’s review of the film here and check out the site later for more videos with actors Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone and more.

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