The first official images from M. Night Shyamalan‘s The Last Airbender appeared yesterday when US Today presented stills of Noah Ringer as Aang and Dev Patel as the ‘evil’ Zuko . I think that the first unofficial image of Zuko is much better however. I’ve presented a little of it above, with the whole thing lurking below the break.
I had the picture e-mailed to me overnight, without any explanation or fanfare. I’d reckon that it’s a screen capture from the teaser trailer. That teaser is due to unspool before Transformers 2 so the encode for online has doubtlessly already been done and I’d eat my shoe if that wasn’t the source of this image.
Comparing live action Zuko to animated Zuko, as I have attempted to facilitate in the image at the top of the post, you will spot a couple of immediate differences: the top knot is gone and the scar seems less pronounced, more realistic.
That the scar has been scaled back seems reasonable and fair and shouldn’t cause too much contrvoersy. I bet the top knot will be subject to more consternation however. Seeing as there’s little reason to avoid the hairstyle other than simple, aesthetic preference, the purists might find it hard to swallow.
The full image, seen here, not only gives you a look at Zuko’s costume and posture, it reveals all of those out of focus characters in the background. It also seems to promise that the teaser is going to feature some nice, strong shots from the film and not just graphics, title cards or silhouetted close-ups. Some teasers really do tease too much, I feel.
Is Zuko named after Danny in Grease? That’d be amusing (well, to me at least). The character has a really great arc on the TV show and I think Dev Patel will have a lot of fun should this run to a full trilogy. Heck – I think I’ll have a lot of fun if this runs to a trilogy. Keep your Shyamalan hate, haters. I think he’s one of the best working filmmakers in the US, if not the world.
Got any more Airbender pictures? I’d love to see them.
Update: Thanks to Keisha at Avatar Destiny Portal [http://avatardestinyportal.com] the full size picture of Dev as Zuko is now even more full sized.