Lot's of people hated the movie, including me. Well I was thinking, if you were in charge, how would you have done it? I am not sure exactly how I would do it, but here is my general idea.
Balance- How do you pace the story and characterization? Avatar had 20 episodes each season to do it, you have about 90 minutes to do it while continuing the story. This would be hard, and you don't want each book to be done in 2 movies. So you have to find the perfect eb and flow of the two, if it could be done. I think I would have to do a lot of drafts to get even a ok outcome. Also some episodes may be cut to the anger of some people.
Cast- Some people hated the cast, so I wondered, who would be the dream cast of Avatar? I honestly have no clue. They would have to look like the characters, and match their description. Child actors are harder to work with so you would have a miracle to fine one actor who looks like the character, act like them, and is good at acting. I would have my casting people turned into casting Nazis. Im afraid people would be to afraid to try out after a while.
Knowledge of Avatar- Wait this is just the director of the movie, nevermind. Ungh, seriously? Aang, a-a-n-g, AANG!
Closeness- It would have to be as close as possible to the show so you don't have the fear of being torn limb by limb from the fans. Not to so close where its a cartoon, but close enough to be Avatar non-cartoon style.
If you want to voice your opinion on how you would do the movie, or anything to add, post a reply. I honestly would refuse from the pressure, I think it would be to hard to pull off.
Balance: Split up the different "books". It may seem like a cheap tactic, but it allows for more character development, tension buildup, explaination of the world, and it tends to allow a film maker to add in more slow, quiet scenes to counterbalance the fast paced bending fights.
Cast: This one is a bit difficult, as I have this unconcious tendency to mentally age up younger protagonists in shows like Avatar. In my mind, Aang is more around 15, sokka is more 18, so on and so forth. I just have a hard time believing children as young as 12 or 14 can make that much difference in battle, much less saving the world. Accordingly, it would probably be wise to age up the characters in the movie, that way aging is less noticable between sequels. Also, get the skin tones right.
Knowledge of the Avatar: pretty straightforward, as there really isn't that much to the Avatar Spirit. It allows the Avatar to bend all four elements, become a medium to the spirit world, and if necessary call upon his/her past lives to help in combat. Doesn't need that much screen time.
Closeness: Oddly enough, I kinda like what Shamalan did with the look of the film. What he did was really one of two directions one could take with a series like Avatar. One route is to make things much more dingy, dirty, and realistic, much like what Peter Jackson did with the Lord of the Rings. You do lose some of the charm of the show, but it feels much more like a real place. The second path, which I also would have liked, would have been to take the stylization of the film to an extreme. Go the route of The Forbidden Kingdom or The Sorcerer and the White Snake, and rather than convince us that these characters and settings could happen in our world or a world very similar to it, just make a fitting world for them, completely different from our own.
I'm sure he didn't have that much say in the direction the movie took. I wouldn't be surprised if the took a Tolkien-like stance on believing his books are unfilmable, if anything due to their sheer girth and some of the extreme ultraviolence that takes place in some of the battle scenes.
Not to mention it has one of the most inefficient magic systems in fantasy.
I know he didn't have much say in the movie, or it would have been a lot different. His books may be unfilmable, and some of the violence may make it rated R. The undying soldiers they sometimes fought which would suffer horrific wounds and fight on would have a lot of violence.
Could you elaborate on how the magic system is inefficient? Im not sure I understand you.
Say in some other fantasy world, you mispronounce a spell. In a world like Harry Potter or some of the more classical high fantasy world, at most, it might blow up in your face. In a world like Harry Dresden's or some of the more modern fantasies, the words are irrelevant; they are the mental guide to your emotions and will that fuels the spell.
In Eragon, if you mispronounce a spell, the spell could go awry in a horrid number of ways or drain so much magical energy as to kill the caster. Making the entire magic system based around linguistics is a recipe for disaster.
Ok I agree with you on mispronouncing a spell, possibly killing the caster or making another Elva. Now that I think of it, it seems that the Ancient Language is too linguistic. Even if you say it right you still have to deal with it not draining to much power or killing you. No wonder so many magicians in the books didn't know a lot of the Ancient Language, they must have been to dam scared to try.
5) Use Oscar to bludgeon M. Night Shyamalan to a bloody pulp.
Oh, so you'd rape him with an Oscar?
That seems a little excessive. Maybe I'd just use it to knock him out long enough to keep him away from the movie set. Still too violent? Okay, I'd use it to jam the door on his house so he couldn't leave while a competent director shot a decent film. Is that a sanitized enough version for all of you?
The last line was not necessary. It makes the fanbase look like a bunch of hateful jerks.
this is a modified version of one of my earliest blog posts.
1. Make it longer!:
The Harry Potter franchise proved that a series of films could last more than just a trilogy, and still be good and still attract a major fanbase and following. and lets face it, putting the contents of seven to eight books into three movies is just a recipie for disaster. One way to avoid disaster would be to divide the plot of each season into two to three Two and one-half hour long movies each. A big epic series, with a big epic plot needs a lot of time to establish a big epic pacing! Shymalans film failed to do that because he reduced the entire plot of the first season into 103 minutes.
For the first movie I would make it begin around 'Boy in the Iceberg' and End around 'The blue spirit' with the majority of the filler taken out. but I would find a way to work the kyoshi Warriors in, they are integral to the shows message of overcoming prejudice, and several of the characters development.
2. Make it Darker and Grittier, but keep the shows sense of Humor:
Lets face it, as "Adult" as ATLA was, it was still a Y7 tv show aimed at kids. So despite all the implied violence, Magic Kung fu fighting, Genocidal Warfare, and potential destructive power bending had in the series, it was never really dwelled upon because of the need to appease an All ages audience. In a live action film a storyteller can get away with a lot more. In a Y7 tv show characters can't kill, or bleed, onscreen for fear of traumatizing younger viewers, but in a PG or PG-13 rated film, theres no problem!
A lot of older fans would love to see bending taken up to eleven in a film Adaptation. The full destructive potential of Bending, Characters actually being killed onscreen, Aangs uncontrollable Avatar state, and the Eldritch Abomination Koh the Face stealer, are all deliciously violent and scary visuals that I would like to see explored and built upon in a live action version.
But at the same time, keep the humor relatable and evenly spaced throughout the action and drama. That is where Sokka and Aang come in, in the show they were the comedic relief their personalities and mannerisms were what spaced the drama, and kept it relatable to an all ages audience. In the film, they were too dark and moody and serious, with none of the comedy the original characters had. which the movie desperately could have used.
3. A Good director, that specializes in this kind of series.
Shymalan is a good director of Thrillers, Horror, and Suspense films. But a big budget fantasy film set in a world based on Asian Culture was WAAAAAYY out of his league. They would of been better off getting someone who specializes in fantasy films. like Guillermo Del Toro or Ang lee.
4. Keep bending Rooted in real world martial arts.
Shymalan ruined it for all of us by not keeping bending the same as in the show. The Earthbenders have to do a friggin dance just to lift a pebble! Bending was meant to be something real, and physical, rooted in the arts and styles of traditional asian martial arts.
5. above all else a 100% ASIAN/INUIT/NATIVE AMERICAN CAST!
In a world based off of traditional Inuit/Asian/Native American mythology, traditional Inuit/Asian/Native American religion, traditional Asian culture, traditional Asian martial arts, Asian cinema, Asian and Native American spiritualism, i would expect the characters in the world to be Asian.
I say this for four reasons.
1Since Asians and Native Americans are closer to their culture than other people groups, they supposedly would be the best to represent it in a film adaptation. I'm sure there are certain exceptions (Like Sifu Kisu and Bryke), but for the most part Asians, Inuits, and Native Americans should be allowed to represent themselves and their culture onscreen in a live action film, since they are usually more connected to it.
2 Casting an Asian/Native American/ or Inuit actor in a would not keep white actors from having a million other opportunities to star in other films. whites have a million opportunities for representation. The opposite however, keeps Asian actors from being represented, as actual human characters.
3 Since Hollywood imitates success, it would help to have a movie which stars an Asian American that really takes off and appeals to everyone. That would help unhinge the racist assumptions of studios that white people won’t pay money to see Asian people in lead heroic roles.
4 by replacing characters of color form the leads for the sake of appealing to the majority audience and making them relatable. Is Hollywood saying that I, as part of their target audience of White American Males, am unable to relate to a lead character in a film simply because of cultural and Racial differences?That a character HAS to be of my race and Nationality or I wont be able to relate to him? Thats what makes me mad. Not just the exclusion of actors of Color, but the fact that by excluding Actors of color in roles where it would make sense implies that I'm the racist because I supposedly wouldn't be willing to see it. Most of the fans of ATLA (including myself) were willing to watch every episode of an Animated series where almost all of us assumed everyone was Asian, Inuit, and Native American, so why not a live action film where everyone is Asian, Inuit, or Native American?