I found an article that suggests that The Last Airbender's problems weren't necessarily Shyamalan's fault. A person who claims to have worked on the movie suggests that it all started with Nicola Peltz being cast due to nepotism, then the whole race bending thing unravelled from there. Here's the article. There was also a more detailed account at AvatarSpirit.net where mismanagement by the studio and Shyamalan giving up and going along with it are mentioned but the administration decided to take down all discussion of the movie so the thread appears to be gone. Fortunately the initial post is here and reposted below. You can still see Shyamalan's fingerprints on the finished product, but do you think there's any truth to this?