The real reason The Last Airbender never got a sequel
In a 2015 interview with Metro UK, Shyamalan disclosed that he prefers to tell his own stories rather than adapting source material that isn’t his own as he did The Last Airbender. He told the socket that the movie project did take him out of his element of original content, but also required a lot of time to do due to all its effects.
“For the last 10 years, I have been working in a cottage industry of the supernatural.
“It takes so long to create those CGI movies,” Shyamalan said.” ‘It’s hard as it takes two/three decades, and I do not get to make two of my movies, so there’s always a struggle of picking someone else’s material over my own.”
The CGI was an important part of the film, but it was arguably not the most complicated visual element involved. The budget for the first of three movies that were planned included an additional $5 to $10 million to convert it into 3D just a couple of months ahead of its July 2010 release. The 3D conversion resulted leaving holes that were noticeable and large in the narrative. Not only was the story scrambled, but it was also barely Shymalan’s Star Wars, as the studio and director appeared to think it could be.
Shyamalan has spent most of his career — and most of his best creative years — working inside the twisty mystery-thriller genre. The Happening and Lady in the Water May Not be as good as The Sixth Sense or Unbreakable, but the Glass manager knows what he is good at and what tales he wants to tell.