Right after the release of The Last Airbender (2010), Mr. Shyamalan’s fantasy adventure film, the live-action adaptation based on the first season of the Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, Shyamalan divulged his plans to the media in regards to the future of the project and where he’s planning to take the sequel. Mr. Shyamalan simply stated that, “I’ve written a draft that I’m really happy with and is darker and richer, and it has a wonderful antagonist in it in Azula, who’s kind of like our only real, pure antagonist in the series.”
During a Q&A session with Lane Brown for the Vulture, Mr. Shyamalan, at the time, was not cognizant of the coarse reviews from the critics regarding The Last Airbender, when he disclosed his plan regarding the very first draft for the sequel, which was the opening day of his film. But the film ended up purveying Paramount a decorous box-office run, though; taking in over $300 million worldwide. Yes, domestically the film didn’t recoup its budget of $150 million, yet a sequel to franchise like The Last Airbender, for Paramount, is a no-brainer. Many commenced asking if Paramount will ever bring Mr. Shyamalan back to take on the sequel, due to the film not playing extraordinary at the box-office and because of the indigent critical reception as well.
Paramount is the only one that can make a decision on the sequel. With or without Mr. Shyamalan, the existence of the sequel and its draft are already confirmed, and we know that Mr. Shyamalan, when it comes to being reclusive, he is the master. But, is there any hope to see him back to direct a sequel? Recently, thanks to a friend, known as Hasdi Bravo, for the heads up, Mr. Shyamalan on Twitter was asked if he has any plans on directing a new film right after “After Earth.” Mr. Shyamalan’s response to the question was, “Deciding between 3. One I’ve already written and 2 that are just in outline form. They are all fighting in my heart right now.”
His statement is a good indication that the sequel is still alive and it is safe to claim that it is possible we’ll see him directing the sequel as well, especially after his recent trips to Los Angeles back to back. For some, I believe, it is easy to put the blame on Mr. Shyamalan for the failure of The Last Airbender. But one must also say that poor critical reception to Transformers 2 didn’t stop the studio from making Transformers 3 either.