Night talks The Last Airbender’s Deleted Scenes

These are the things that I hope make it into a possible The Last Airbender: Extended Edition.  The Kyoshi Warriors and slapstick humor!  Night speaks here about his decisions to cut both.  While I can understand the cutting of the slapstick humor, I don’t really think cutting the Kyoshi Warriors was that smart of a decision, as this is part of a grander story, and it would have helped to lay the groundwork for the sequels even moreso.

“The single most difficult decision was [cutting] the Kyoshi Warriors,” he said of a chapter in the story that involves Aang, Sokka, and Katara encountering a group of female warriors along their travels.

“We shot [the scene] and they were amazing, and we spent an unbelievable amount of time choreographing them,” he explained. “And they just distracted from the movie, because the movie wasn’t about them.”

According to Shyamalan, the decision to edit out the Kyoshi Warriors had a lot to do with their lack of involvement in the final chapter of the first season — and therefore, the finale of the film itself.

“It was like introducing these great characters who had nothing to do with the third act,” he explained. “That’s what happens in the series, but in the short form of the movie, it becomes blatant. Where did they go? Why aren’t they in the third act?”

“So I made the very difficult decision of pulling them from the movie and introducing them in the second movie if we have the opportunity,” he added.

Along with the removal of the Kyoshi Warriors, Shyamalan also admitted to cutting much of the slapstick humor of the story.

“I did it naturally in the first draft, and as the drafts went on, I kept on doing it more,” he said of cutting out the jokey side of the trio’s adventure. “Then when we shot it, I did it even more, and then when we were editing it, I kept on reducing it.”

“What I found was… the audience wants to take this seriously,” he explained. “They want this to be real and important to everyone, and if a character is being too silly, they go, ‘Okay, I guess he’s not very upset. I guess there’s not a big threat. I guess the fact that an entire culture’s been wiped out is not a big deal.'”

“When everyone has the same threats and value systems going on, you really start to lean in more,” continued Shyamalan. “You have to be really careful — a slapstick moment can really drain a movie.”

-via MTV


  1. I was a little dissappointed with MNS’s representation of the “races in The Last Airbender. Clearly he represented his own race (if even in a negative light), but there was no representation of Africans who’s culture is among the oldest. What’s up with that?

    • you know… does it really matter…in the show the air nomads were all races…and jest because you did not see blacks in the cartoon does not mean anything… i am a huge fan of the cartoon and i think the movie is great…i wan’t there to be a 2nd movie and if you do to then… well i am a huge fan on NMS’s movies and he is a great director…you should respect his decision…everyone should

  2. As much as I wanted to like TLA, I felt that it was very much lacking in terms of length, structure, and character development, and Kyoshi Warriors and humor being removed was very disappointing as a fan of the TV show. An Extended Edition or Director’s Cut would probably be able to fix all of this for the most part, so I really hope that we get one.

  3. Who’s going to start the protest to make Paramount give us an Extended Edition? Anybody know how to do it?

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