LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – As he puts the finishing touches on the big-budget fantasy spectacle “The Last Airbender,” filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan is quietly circulating a new script.
No details are known about the project, but it comes with some major acting talent: Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow and Bruce Willis are loosely attached to star in the film.
Shyamalan is famously secretive, and this project is no exception: Only top studio execs have read the script, and they were required to allow a Shyamalan assistant to supervise the process. When the executives finished reading, the assistant took the script back and left.
It’s a practice that is consistent with previous Shyamalan script sales. But while there was a time when an original Shyamalan project — with their trademarked twists and reveals — caused great ripples throughout Hollywood, in recent years the filmmaker’s box office and critical clout have diminished.
“Airbender,” which is getting the full Paramount marketing push for a July 1 release, could bring some of that heat back, but the project is the first for Shyamalan based on material that he didn’t originate. It’s also his first attempt at a special effects-driven franchise-starter.
Still, with Cooper, Paltrow and Willis attached (the latter starred in the filmmaker’s breakthrough “The Sixth Sense” and “Unbreakable”), Shyamalan can still lure talent.