The Last Airbender is a movie due out in July 2010 by M. Night Shyamalan and based on an animated series produced by Nickelodeon. Nothing unusual so far, except that a teaser trailer has already been posted on the internet and has been shown before Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Is a year before release too early for a teaser trailer?
Judging by the fan reaction I would say that it has not been too early at all. In the downtime between the ending of Avatar: The Last Airbender on Nickelodeon last summer and the release of the trailer, fans have kept themselves occupied with dedicated websites, fan videos, comic con attendees, fan art, and fan fiction.
Perusing www.theavatarportal.org’s forum gives a good impression of what fans are saying about the trailer. “This may seem a bit excessive but is it really abnormal that I’m crying right now because of sheer excitement?” says user name “cancerianfirelordess”. “I was fan-girl squealing even though I’m a guy.” says “victorzamora”. “It looks really really good! I’m so excited now!” states “lotus17”. In all, 237 messages have been posted about the trailer and more are written every day.
Searching the term “airbender” on youtube, 72 videos have been posted with that subject over the past 24 hours. Compare that to 160 for Transformers and 114 for Star Trek, both movies that were just released and mega popular. Speaking of dedicated fans, Star Wars has 128 videos made on youtube over the past day. Airbender is not as popular as the other three mainstays, but for a film that has nothing else going for it except a teaser it seems to be holding its own against the heavyweights.
Avatar: The Last Airbender has been a regular fixture at the San Diego Comic Con for the past three years. According to www.avatarspirtmedia.net, producers of the animated series and the film Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko will be making an appearance at the Con again this year to sign autographs of an exclusive poster on Saturday afternoon. Simultaneously they will be producing a documentary on rabid fans of the animated series dressed as their favorite characters.
DeviantArt.com has many listings of fan art and fan fiction. Grasping what this series has meant to fans might possibly be found here. There are over 63,000 forms of inspired art, from simple cartoon drawings all the way to canvas paintings.
There is more than enough material to satiate fans and keep them busy until the movie airs next summer. Not to mention there are video games and a multiplayer online game to occupy diehards until July 2, 2010. No matter what happens at the box office when The Last Airbender is released one thing is certain: fans can’t wait.