‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ to get Live-Action Adaptation at Netflix, and WE MUST KEEP M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN AWAY
Sometimes, parents prove to be so bad at raising children that the courts are forced to step in and make sure those sweet innocent babies that deserve so much better can’t be hurt anymore. And today, the role of “the courts” is being played by Netflix, as the streaming giant announced today that it’s making a live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Or rather, they’re making another live-action adaptation — M. Night Shyamalan, director of great movies like Unbreakable, half of Signs, and that’s pretty much it, made a truly terrible version of The Last Airbender back in 2010. But this time, when Aang and his band of world-saving element-manipulators come back to TV, the monstrous M. Night will be kept far, far away. Netflix has the original series’ creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, on board.
So will the new Avatar series be any good? Who can say? Netflix has done some great work rehabbing characters — after Ben Affleck mucked up Daredevil, the Netflix series turned out pretty great. But they’ve also done some mucking themselves, as their Death Note adaptation was universally sh*t on.
But whatever happens with this new Avatar series, at least it’ll never have to spend time in the care of M. Night Shyamalan again. In fact, I’m going to take this opportunity to put forth a theory on M. Night Shyamalan I’ve had for a long time — the man who made his name on movies with big twist endings had a big twist to his career as well: M. Night was a bad filmmaker all along? I know everyone lost their mind for The Sixth Sense, but that movie’s twist is actually the opposite of how movies are supposed to work! Usually, a character solves their external problem by resolving their internal problem — in order to destroy the Death Star (external problem), Luke has to let go of his doubts (internal problem).
But Bruce Willis’ internal problem — that he doesn’t know how to communicate anymore with his wife — is ACTUALLY his external problem, in that he got shot and died! Instead of delving into a man’s psyche and examining what could cause a marriage to fall apart, M. Night was all “Surprise! GHOSTS!” Also Unbreakable doesn’t hold up in a post-Dark Knight world and the aliens in Signs being weak to water is one of the dumbest ideas ever committed to screen. And we must never, never forget Mark Wahlberg’s performance in The Happening:
It’s a crime that the man who directed that movie ever got his hands on The Last Airbender. And the fact that the internet is reacting to this news with hesitation, or even outright scorn, just shows that those scars take a long time to heal.
But I believe in Avatar. I know this story will have a happy ending. Because whatever happened in the past, the following image put out today by Netflix shows that it is making a TV show with a live-action flying buffalo and a bunch of martial artists shooting fire and rocks at each other.