So, there's actually a full trailer for the Last Airbender movie now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udeaR1-O-Gk
Sokka and Katara feel distinctly un-Sokka-and-Katara-like; not just because of their race but because of the way they act in the new trailer. Particularly Katara. Given that she's the only major female character in season one (which this movie is based on), I really really hope they're not planning to make her weepy and useless. Bleh.
Sokka is an insecure teenager who tends towards cynical and often gets the crap end of the stick for comedy relief purposes. Katara is a girl with talent in a society that has distinct gender roles, with a short temper and a competitive streak. I didn't get that from this trailer.
But again, this is more of a new interpretation of the Avatar story rather than a complete retelling, so I guess I'll just have to get over it. I'm still going to see the movie.
Dev Patel makes an adorable Zuko. Still haven't seen him do 'angry' yet. Maybe this Zuko won't be so angry? That would change his whole character.
I have no comment on Aang, because he hasn't said a damn thing in any trailer I've seen and he always looks serious. Really, same kid?
His tattoos look cool, except for the completely unnecessary cross on his back. Why would the Air Nomads use a cross in their tattoos? The airbending looks pretty awesome, though. Actually, the effects in general look cool.
Storywise... In my opinion, for this to be even a marginally decent retelling, the following things need to happen in this movie:
* Basic introduction of full plot, including:
- history of the four nations
- introduction to bending
- who the Avatar is and what the heck he/she is supposed to do
- explanation of the war and why the Air Nomads were wiped out
- the fact that the Avatar's been missing for 100 years
- and was actually hanging out in a block of ice the whole damn time
- and has a Fire Nation prince obsessed with capturing him
* Aang and Zuko backstory parallels established
* Sozin's comet pointed out
* Aang and Katara learn waterbending
* The whole Yue-moon-spirit thing happens
* Iroh established as awesome (okay, I guess it's not NECESSARY, but...)
That is the BARE minimum, for story only. Lots of other stuff really should happen too, but I'm not going to expect a heck of a lot from this movie.