Actors Jackson Rathbone (Twilight series) and Nicola Peltz (Deck the Halls) stopped by the Mall of America a few weeks ago, to promote the upcoming family film The Last Airbender, directed by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable). Starting at noon, many adoring and curious fans lined up at the mall to get a new look at the Airbender trailer, purchase memorabilia from the convenient merchandise booth, and get autographs from and their pictures taken with the two young actors.
Opening Thursday, July 1 at theaters across the Twin Cities, The Last Airbender is based on the Nickelodeon animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender, created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who also serve as executive producers on the film. Shyamalan was signed on in 2007, to write, direct, and produce a trilogy of live-action films based on the series. The film will be shown in both traditional 2D, as well as in 3D at theaters across the country. The film cost roughly around $150 million, and whether that kind of money is available for each of the next two films will depend on how the first does at the box office.
Wikipedia summarizes the film like so: “In a world where the elements, Water, Earth, Fire and Air can be controlled by people known as ‘benders,’ the Fire Nation is waging a ruthless war to control the other great nations. The only hope for stopping the war rests on the shoulders of a young boy named Aang (Noah Ringer). The last known Airbender and survivor of the peaceful Air Nomads, Aang is the Avatar. The Avatar is the physical embodiment of the world, with the ability to control all four elements and draw upon the combined power, knowledge, and experience of the Avatar’s previous incarnations. The Avatar’s duty is to maintain peace between the four nations and the spirit realm, ensuring that the world remains in balance. Aided by a protective teenage Waterbender named Katara (Peltz) and her warrior brother Sokka (Rathbone), and Aang’s animal guide Appa, a flying bison, Aang begins a perilous journey to restore balance to their war-torn world. Standing in their way is the ambitious Fire Nation Admiral Zhao (Aasif Mandvi) and Zuko (Slumdog Millionaire’s, Dev Patel), the banished crown prince of the Fire Nation who seeks to capture Aang to regain his honor.”
After the fans had their moments with the two actors, I had the opportunity, along with six other journalists, to interview both Rathbone and Peltz in a roundtable discussion/interview, meaning we each took turns asking questions about the film (my questions are at 2:28 and 15:25 minutes), what it was like working with M. Night Shyamalan, how they landed the roles, and what are there plans after the film opens. Joining in the interview and asking questions were: Felicia Schaefer from Family Times; Lenore Moritz from Momcultureonline.com; Barrett Goetz from themoviemash.com; Alaina L. Lewis from Insight News; and Trina Domino from forks-bloodbank.de (a Danish Twilight fan site).
Click the play button below to hear the interview.