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Shyamalan To Adapt Nickelodeon's Avatar

Coming off the lackluster performance of LADY IN THE WATER, M. Night Shyamalan has signed on to write, direct and produce the live-action adaptation of Nickelodeon's popular animated series, AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER, reports the trades. Paramount Pictures' MTV Films and Nick Movies, who are producing, plans to live-action adaptation into a trilogy with Shyamalan.

The film will be the first Shyamalan has directed in which he has not written an original screenplay. He previously co-wrote 1999's STUART LITTLE.

AVATAR was created by Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, Influenced by Asian art, mythology and fighting styles, the animated series is set in a world where the masters of the four nations -- Water, Earth, Fire and Air -- can manipulate their native elements. With the Fire Nation waging war, two teens free the Avatar, master of all elements and his flying bison to help restore peace to the world.

Though the Nick series previously existed, the live-action feature may have a difficult fight over using the title AVATAR. As previously announced, James Cameron will begin production on his AVATAR titled feature later in the year. Cameron has been developing his project for 12 years. Both Cameron and Nick claim they have registered the title with the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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