Remember the Avatar: The Last Airbender film adaptation from M. Night Shyamalan? The director best known for The Sixth Sense and Signs attempted to adapt the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon series for the big screen in 2010 and failed in nearly every regard.
Don't believe me? The film currently has a score of 6 percent on movie review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. He failed so much, the creators of the show pretend the live-action film doesn't even exist.
That's how bad The Last Airbender is. But Shyamalan doesn't really understand why, as is clear in a new interview with IGN.
The site sat down to talk with Shyamalan about his new show Wayward Pines on Fox, but of course The Last Airbender eventually came up. When asked if he was surprised by the film's overwhelmingly poor reception among Avatar fans, parents and anybody with a soul, Shyamalan says he was.
"It's really weird because on the show the average age was, like, nine-years-old," Shyamalan says. "My child was nine-years-old. So you could make it one of two ways. You could make it for that same audience, which is what I did -- for nine and 10-year-olds -- or you could do the Transformers version and have Megan Fox. I didn't do that."
Wait, what? According to Shyamalan, it seems like he blames the film's poor reception to the fact that he made a children's film and didn't make it more "edgy" as some director's have done with other kid show adaptations, like Transformers for example.
Maybe Shyamalan hasn't seen the Transformers films, but they are kind of terrible. Not as terrible as The Last Airbender mind you, but not very good. Just because a film has Megan Fox in it doesn't make it better, and it seems like Shyamalan is confusing critical and commercial success. Whereas Transformers makes tons of money, the films have never been well-received. The Last Airbender didn't make tons of money or get good reviews, so obviously there is some other reason for the film's poor success other than the fact that it was "for children."
There are plenty of children's films that find an adult audience and are well-received by critics. Even the original show and its sequel The Legend of Korra managed to capture a wide audience of children, teens and young adults alike. The show, despite being for kids, featured fantastic animation, great martial arts action and dealt with surprisingly adult themes in an intelligent and serious way.
It seems much of that was lost in translation in Shyamalan's film. He says Megan Fox wouldn't have been a good fit for The Last Airbender, but with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 6 percent, it couldn't have made the film much worse.