The latest trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender has arrived in all its CG glory. Sumptuous looking costume design by Judianna Makovsky.
The film is a live-action version of Nickelodeon’s TV animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, about a fantastical world where ‘benders’ (steady) can control the elements Earth, Fire, Air, and Water. A deceptively young man Aang (played by Noah Ringer) must restore peace after the ‘Fire Nation’ openly declares war. Aang is ‘The Avatar’, basically a physical manifestation of the four classical elements, though at the start of the story he can only manipulate Air.
Judianna Makovsky has been costume designer on many movies including Seasbiscuit, X-Men: The Last Stand and both National Treasure pics. She created that lavish blue ball dress Diane Kruger wore in NT1 when foiling Gates’ break-in at the Archives. Being as The Last Airbender is a fantasy, however, her recent work on Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant might provide a more apt contrast.
Judging by this third official trailer, Makovsky has sustained The Last Airbender cartoon’s East Asian theme incorporating Samurai costumes and traditional Chinese Boxer uniforms. With the fantasy genre allowing for adaptation in both, it will be interesting to see how her costumes combine this broad inspiration to craft a believable story world.
Certainly The Last Airbender looks dramatic and exciting, yet may still be a tough sell for anyone not remotely familiar with the television series. Though add some serious mega marketing power and anything is possible – if not suppressing childish giggles at the film’s title. Well, not for anyone in the UK anyway.
© 2010 – 2012, Christopher Laverty.