“The Last Airbender” makes its long-awaited debut in theaters tomorrow, and though you might already be familiar with the Nickelodeon animated series the film is based on, that wasn’t the only source of inspiration for the live-action film.
In an interview with MTV News, director M. Night Shyamalan explained how Bruce Lee’s 1973 classic “Enter The Dragon” inspired his favorite scene in “The Last Airbender.”
“Sometimes you just see something and you go, ’Wow, this is just working out exactly perfectly,'” said Shyamalan. “The Master Pakku fight [was like that].”
For those who aren’t familiar with the “Airbender” cartoon, there’s a scene late in the first season that features one of the most skilled waterbenders fighting off a horde of Fire Nation soldiers using weapons shaped from the water and ice around him. In the film, actor Francis Guinan plays Master Pakku, the aforementioned waterbender of the Northern Water Tribe.
“I’d always imagined him bringing out these two tentacles and whipping people,” explained Shyamalan. “For me, it was the Bruce Lee scene in ’Enter The Dragon,’ with the nunchucks. He was surrounded, [but] he has peripheral vision, and somebody’s coming up from behind him and he hits him with the nunchuck from behind.”
“I thought of the Pakku scene like that, and that turned out really well,” said the filmmaker.
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