Dev Patel has spent the last few months living the "Slumdog Millionaire" Oscar ride and now he's been plucked by M. Night Shyamalan for his first studio film, the live-action adaptation of the Nickelodeon TV series "The Last Airbender."

Variety reports Patel will play Zuko, a member of the fire nation.  Joining him is newcomer Noah Ringer will will play Aang, the film's hero and the last member of a race who had powers over the elements of air.  The 12-year-old Ringer, who was cast off an Internet audition, replaces Jesse McCartney whose tour dates conflicted with the "boot camp" Shyamalan scheduled before production.

Also coming on board are Nicola Peltz as the Water Tribe rep Katara and Jessica Jade Andrews as the Earth Kingdom's representative Suki.  "Twilight's" Jackson Rathbone has also been cast in the potential franchise.

Production on "Airbender" is expected to begin in mid-March in Greenland.  Paramount Pictures has set a release date for July 2, 2010.