Citing those old devil “schedule conflicts”, white devil Jesse McCartney has been replaced by SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE star Dev Patel in THE LAST AIRBENDER movie:
The British-born actor will play Zuko, a member of the Fire Nation in the live-action adaptation of the Nickelodeon series from Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Films.
Other actors already set are newcomer Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone and Jessica Jade Andres. Jesse McCartney was set to play Zuko, but scheduling conflicts are being blamed for his departure. “Jesse had tour dates that conflicted with a boot camp I always hold on my films, and where the actors here have to train for martial arts,” writer-director M. Night Shyamalan said. Patel was “already one of the guys I was interested in. Then I saw SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, and the kid just grew in my eyes,” he said.
Internet wags will say that the outcry over the Asian-themed AIRBENDER having an all-white cast may have had something to do with the change, but at least it’s a move in the right direction.