Just saw the movie trailer for the upcoming live-action film The Last Airbender, directed by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense). I looked it up because someone told me (incorrectly) it was directed by James Cameron (Titanic; Terminator) — the reason for the confusion is that Cameron directed a film titled Avatar, due for release later this year. (Shyamalan’s film is scheduled for summer 2010.)
What does this have to do with Buddhism? Well, the Cameron movie has no relation at all, so far as I can tell. But Avatar: The Last Airbender — the three-season animated series that first aired on Nickelodeon — certainly has a lot of connections to Buddhism. I wrote about this here recently.
Shyamalan’s film appears to be a live-action retelling of the animated series. This is bound to raise ambivalent feelings in those (like me) who love the original — it’s probably one of the very best animated stories ever made for TV in any country (sorry, Japan). The movie version might be an awful travesty. We won’t know until we see it, I guess.
I’m disappointed that all the actors in the cast appear to be white, when all the characters in the animated series are clearly Asian. What’s up with that, anyway?