With the box office success of Clash of the Titans, which was converted to 3D in post-production, it was announced that two upcoming films would follow the 2D-to-3D switch.
The summer's family fantasy adventure, The Last Airbender, directed by M. Night Shyamalan ( Signs, The Sixth Sense), will now be converted to 3D after the movie is finished shooting. The studio still plans to keep the US release date, July 2, before the July 4 national holiday.
The conversion process will be done by Stereo D, the company that worked on Avatar. It costs between $5-10 million, which is expected to be recovered in theaters.
Though Clash of the Titans was successful, there was criticism that the conversion to 3D was flat. Tests of Airbender convinced the producers it looks good. Industrial Light and Magic's Visual Effects Supervisor, Pablo Hellman, told ComingSoon.net that Shyamalan's way of shooting without fast edits and the film's visuals could lend itself to the conversion to 3D well.
The story, from the Nickelodeon animated television series, follows the adventures of a young Avatar who must defeat the Fire Nation, by controlling the elements of water, earth, fire, and air through the martial arts. It stars Dev Patel ( Slumdog Millionaire).
It was also announced that The Green Hornet, the adaptation of the comic book story, directed by Michel Gondry and starring Seth Rogen, will also be converted or "enhanced" with 3D. It will occur after the film is shot but before special effects are added.
This pushes the release from December 2010 to January 2011, which could be an advantage since the Christmas 2010 schedule is packed with 3D films including Tron Legacy (Oscar winner Jeff Bridges) The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn, Yogi Bear, and Gulliver's Travels with Jack Black.