Citing those old devil “schedule conflicts”, white devil Jesse McCartney has been replaced by SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE star Dev Patel in THE LAST AIRBENDER movie: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.


  1. Yeah!!! — an Asian actor gets to play the villain.

    I can’t wait until they cast Chow Yun Fat as The Mandarin in the next Iron Man movie.

  2. Mark – I don’t know if you’re being ironic or sarcastic. But in the Iron Man cartoon series in the 90s, they actually did make the Mandarin green and alien-looking [with pointy ears].

  3. @Chris

    I had actually forgotten that, whereas I had seen a clip of the Defenders of the Earth cartoon earlier in the week.

    I barely remember the Iron Man cartoon, other than the fact it allowed me to buy a Fin Fang Foom toy for my desk at work.