Cameras begin rolling today, weather permitting, on M. Night Shyamalan’s live-action animae adaptation The Last Airbender on location in Reading, Pennsylvania. Roughly an hour north of the director’s hometown and favorite shooting location Philadelphia, Shyamalan will be making use of a local landmark called The Pagoda on top of Mount Penn as an exterior for his upcoming film.
The Pagoda will be used as an ancient temple in the film.
According to the Reading Eagle, locations scouts for the film were canvassing the area when their eyes were caught by the Pagoda. Once it was decided to use the location, a film company crew has spent the last several weeks making improvements to the road that accesses the site as well as burying electrical lines around the building.
I have to admit that this story caught my eye as I had spent many any hour hanging out around the Pagoda back when I attended nearby Kutztown University. (I also freelanced for the Reading Eagle for a semester, too.) It’s a lovely building, celebrating its centennial this year. (Click on the image at right for a larger view.) I’ve been to a lot of film locations, but it should be interesting to see a place with some strong personal memories appearing on screen in such a different context.
The Last Airbender, the first in a planned trilogy, is scheduled to hit theaters July 2, 2010.