Fans up in arms over casting: M. Night Shyamalan is making a movie version of Nickelodeon’s animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, and the first casting choices were announced last week. The problem? Well, Avatar is set in an Asian-inspired world, with a multiethnic cartoon cast, and the live-action choices thus far are entirely caucasian. Naturally, fans are pissed.
(And since y’all would probably stone me if I didn’t include this, let’s not forget Avatar’s primary Star Wars connections: The Clone Wars’ Dave Filoni directed several episodes, while Mark Hamill voiced Fire Lord Ozai, the show’s ultimate antagonist.)
The Golden Compass took the VFX Oscar. Sorry, ILM. Needless to say, that was pretty much the only genre win of the night, but you can check out the rest of the winners at Oscar.com.
Harrison Ford is among the stars that Barbara Walters will talk to on her Oscar Special. Expect lots of questions on Indiana Jones. The Barbara Walters Special will air February 24th at 7pm Eastern, just before the Oscars. (West Coast viewers can catch it after the show.)
UPDATE 02/25: Video is here.
ABC, gearing up for their Crystal Skull trailer debut, also take a look at Indy stars past and present in Indiana Jones: Then and Now.
Yeah, I wrote that movie post at 4am knowing full well that the Academy Award nominations were coming out today. Clearly, I fail.
Anyway, some surprises. The one that knocked me over was Johnny Depp and Viggo Mortensen both up for Best Actor (For Sweeney Todd and Eastern Promises, respectively.) Cate Blanchett is up for both Actress categories for The Golden Age and I’m Not There. In Animated Feature, Ratatouille and Persepolis are going head to head.
As for actual genre releases, The Golden Compass is up for Art Direction, as well as battling ILM’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Transformers for Visual Effects. Transformers also got a Sound Editing nod, while At World’s End is up for Makeup.
The familiar hand of Drew Struzan (and son) is at work on the poster for the 80th annual Academy Awards poster. In other Oscar news, the show may be picketed if an agreement isn’t reached by February 24.
Three ILM films are finalists for the VFX Oscar nomination: Evan Almighty, Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Five of their films made the preliminary list.
The Academy also gave out their science and technical awards Friday, with Nick Rasmussen, Ron Fedkiw and Frank Losasso Petterson honored with a plaque for their development work on ILM’s fluid simulation system.
No surprise here: Five ILM films are on the preliminary list for the Best Visual Effects Oscar. The list of 15 will be narrowed down to 8 finalists, and from there to the 3 Oscar nominees.