Director M. Night Shyamalan is preparing to release his first big-budget, effects-driven blockbuster, “The Last Airbender,” based on the Nickelodeon cartoon “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” on July 1. And his next original film is a project for which the stars now seem to be aligning.
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Heat Vision blog reveals that those stars include Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow and Bruce Willis, who are all “loosely attached” to headline the film. No plot details have been revealed, as is usual with Shyamalan, but the filmmaker has assistants ferrying his script between studio execs, who are observed by those same assistants and are expected to surrender the script immediately after finishing.
“Lady in the Water” aside, Shyamalan’s films continue to make money, though his most recent efforts have fared poorly with critics. And nothing has performed as well as the director’s debut effort, “The Sixth Sense,” which starred Willis and earned almost $700 million in worldwide ticket sales. The actor also worked with Shyamalan on his “Sixth Sense” follow-up, “Unbreakable.” If Willis is cast in this mysterious “Airbender” follow-up, it would be the pair’s first time working together since 2000.
Cooper, who is just coming off of smiling for the cameras in support of this summer’s “The A-Team” and presenting duties at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, has a big 2011 coming up. He’ll star in the Todd Phillips-directed ensemble comedy “The Hangover 2,” reprising his role from last summer. He’ll also lead a cast that includes Robert De Niro, Anna Friel and Abbie Cornish in an adaptation of Alan Glynn’s novel “The Dark Fields.”
Paltrow is also coming off of a big press push for her own work in 2010 summer blockbuster “Iron Man 2.” She’ll appear later this year with Leighton Meester, Tim McGraw and “Tron Legacy” star Garrett Hedlund in the country music drama “Love Don’t Let Me Down.” She’s also one of the sizable ensemble cast that’s assembled for Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” which also stars Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard and Laurence Fishburne.
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Last Airbender.”
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