The Shamhammer has been laying low since his last few movies have not been hailed as the genius we started to hold him to. But he has been busy. Busy casting Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel in his new film.
In a radicle move, M Night Shyamalan turned away from his self crafted twist tales and is taking on the adaptation of the animated Avatar: The Last Airbender.
In casting Patel and Ringer, a director accustomed to delivering plot twists to audiences got some surprises of his own. Ringer is a complete unknown who was tapped for the title role off an Internet audition. Patel, meanwhile, steps into a role that Jesse McCartney had all but locked up until the actor’s second career as a musician got in the way.
“Jesse had tour dates that conflicted with a boot camp I always hold on my films, and where the actors here have to train for martial arts,” Shyamalan said.
Patel was “already one of the guys I was interested in. Then I saw ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ and the kid just grew in my eyes,” he said.
Tyro thesp Ringer will play Aang, the film’s lead, who is the last of a race of people who can manipulate the elements of air.
This is good news indeed. At least now the film will be cast with martial arts talent and real actors instead of a dreamy teen popstar. The surprise talent will be joining the cast as a supporting role, but I think it will be a good fit.
I have seen a fair bit of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and though light and episodic the premise behind it was just begging for a feature film adaptation. I hope the Shamhammer hits it out of the park!