Here is the YouTube link for those who have not seen it. (And, as usual, the comments. Good God, the comments.)
The story so far: Once upon a time, there was a terrific animated series called "Avatar: the Last Airbender" (in America. It's known by other titles in other parts of the world where --this is true-- you can't say "Bender" on television. I wanna know how they deal with all the in-show dialogue. Or with "Futurama" and "The Breakfast Club" for that matter.) The series was one of the most critically acclaimed television series of the past five years, animated or otherwise, with excellent world-building, a compelling story, and -best of all- an astonishing attention to characterization and character development. (Sokka, Toph, and Iroh in particular are among my favorite characters ever, but I digress.) It gained that elusive thing that I suspect every animated series secretly hopes for: a very loyal and dedicated fan-following that crosses generational and cultural lines.
Unfortunately, the series was also controlled by a company that had no idea what they'd gotten their filthy meathooks on. Nickelodeon shuffled the series around it's schedule at a whim, split the final season into two seasons without any warning (Good God, can you imagine everyone tuning in for the next "American Idol" episode only to see a cartoon based upon "Barnyard"? And this goes on for a month with no explanation whatsoever? Why in the f*** were we supposed to put up with this B.S.? Sorry, I just opened up old wounds right there.), and has pretty much done everything in it's power to keep this series from gaining new fans. (OK, it isn't as bad as how Disney treats "Gargoyles" -- how the hell is a series going to gain new fans if it's only on at 3:30 in the God-damn morning?!? -- but still.)
Aside from all that, "Avatar" is an amazing series and you need to shut up and add it to your Netflix Queue right now. The second season is unreal.
So now this "Avatar" live-action film is on the way and so far fans have harped on M. Night Shyamalan's involvement, the improbability of condensing the story into a couple of hours, and, err, casting. (The last factor has become a bit of a touchy subject.) My reaction is simple, and it is basically the same as my reaction to any live-action adaptation of an animated series, particularly one I really really like:
Do we need a live-action "Avatar"? Really? Do we?
This is exactly the kind of series whose reputation among non-fans could be destroyed by a bad movie. (I've already read too many comments from people saying, "Well it'll keep the show's ten-year-old target audience occupied". AAAAAARRRRRGH!!!!!)
Remember how they tried -twice- and failed -twice- to make an "X Files" movie that doesn't suck? And how it turned out to be nigh impossible to condense the series' storyline into a couple of hours? And the thing is, a lot of people who never watched "X Files" still know at least a little of the basic plot: Years and years ago, Mulder's sister vanished, he's been trying to solve the mystery all his life, and he strongly suspects she was kidnapped by aliens. And that's just off the top of my head. Now ask one of your best friends what the basic plot of "Avatar" is. Go on. You'll probably want to get something to hit yourself in the head with first.
Truth be told, a commenter over at Neon Dragon's blog said it so I don't have to:
"I lost my excitement when it went from 'It's gonna be animated!'... to 'It's gonna be live action!' And then I heard (about) the casting producer's 'open call' and how she said 'If you're Swedish...wear lederhosen! If you're Korean... wear a kimono!' and decided I didn't want to give these people my money..." - KayJKay
In conclusion, if Platypusbears are not involved, the whole damn thing will be a complete waste of everyone's time.