Shyamalan Previews Avatar Movie at Expo

Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan presented a short preview at the Licensing International Expo of his plans for adapting the Nick/Paramount animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender into a live-action feature film scheduled to come out in 2010.

“Casting has begun and we’ve seen thousands of kids. I believe we’ve found the next superstars,” said Shyamalan, director of The Happening, which opens this week. The director said his daughter introduced him to the popular anime-influenced action series, which immediately clicked with him as a great idea for a film. “I called up my agent and said I have a movie I want to do. We phoned Paramount and Nickelodeon, and told them that we think they have the next Star Wars,” he said.

The early reviews of The Happening have been less than stellar for the helmer, whose last two movies (The Village, Lady in the Water) have been both critical and box office disappointments. Hopefully, Avatar will be a step in the right direction for Shyamalan who is best known for his debut effort, The Sixth Sense.