USA Today has published the first two images from M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender, a big-budget fantasy film based on the Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The first pic is of 12-year old Noah Ringer in the role of Aang, an “Avatar” who can manipulate the weather. Despite not sharing the same ethnicity as the character in the cartoon, Noah landed the role after sending in a homemade videotape of himself showing off his tae kwon do skills. In an odd twist of fate, Noah routinely shaved his head prior to being cast in order to keep cool while practicing his fighting skills.
Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire fame portrays Aang’s nemesis and villain Zuko in the second pic. Zuko is a “Firebender” who can, you guessed it, manipulate flames.
The Last Airbender also stars Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone and Jessica Jade Andres. Paramount has set a release date of July 2, 2010, to take advantage of the July 4 weekend.