Slumdog no more! The star of Danny Boyle’s international sensation Slumdog Millionaire has just signed on for another gig. ] According to Variety, M. Night Shyamalan has just cast Dev Patel to star in his adaptation of the Nickelodeon Films production of The Last Airbender. Patel will star as Zuko, the role that was originally cast with actor/musician Jesse McCartney.
More on the films casting after the jump.
McCartney was set to star in the Zuko role, but it seems as if his flourishing music career got in the way.
“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,” 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.
I’m all for being a double threat in the entertainment industry, but how could McCartney pass this up? Are his album sales through the roof? If so I’ll stand corrected, but this would have been a great career move. Shyamalan took a lot of criticism for casting McCartney in a role that many fans felt should have been given to a more ethnically diverse actor. I guess they got their wish with Patel.
What do you think about the recast? Do you see this as a smart move on Shyamalan’s part?