Stop the (internet) press! A non-white actor has been cast in M. Night Shyamalan's adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender! Have the internet protests been having an effect on the embattled production after all?
We first reported on the outcry over the all-white casting of the distinctly non-white animated characters in December, and since then, fans have continued to deluge the movie's producers with reasons why the casting is unfair. So, does the news that Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel will be taking over the role previously thought to belong to Jesse McCartney represent a victory for the fans? Well, yes and no.
On the one hand, it is a refreshing sign to see Patel take over from the none-more-white McCartney, but on the other, this change doesn't have anything to do with fan reaction; as Shyamalan explained, it's all to do with scheduling:
Jesse had tour dates that conflicted with a boot camp I always hold on my films, and where the actors here have to train for martial arts.
So, while the victory wasn't won by the fans, at least they can take some solace in the fact that McCartney was forced off the film by the pop career that they so hated. That's something, surely...?
Shyamalan cast floats on 'Air' [Variety]