Dev Patel, who made his big screen debut in SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE has joined M. Night Shyamalan's next movie THE LAST AIRBENDER. Patel replaces Jesse McCartney, "whose career as a musician got in the way". Patel plays Zuko, a member of the Fire Nation. There's been a lot of controversy about this film, particularly it's casting of white actors for the lead parts but hasn't this kind of thing been the general pratice of cinema history? Though one thing that's pretty new to this production is how unknown 12 year old martial artist Noah Ringer won a part. Variety say he was cast by Internet audition, setup by M. Night himself who encouraged young kids to send in their home made reels. Paramount's live action adaptation of Nikelodeon's animated series begins production in six weeks in New Zealand. The first in the AVATAR trilogy will be released on July 2, 2010.