Netflix has announced the lead cast and the team behind the upcoming ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ live-action series. The cast announced today includes Gordon Cormier, Kiawentiio, Ian Ousley, and Dallas Liu.
Alongside the cast, Netflix also announced Albert Kim as showrunner, executive producer, and writer of the series. Dan Lin and Lindsey Liberatore will executive produce, along with Michael Goi. Goi, Jabbar Raisani, and Roseanne Liang will serve as directors, with Liang also serving as co-executive producers.
Netflix describes the series, written by Kim, as an original adaptation of the award-winning and acclaimed Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender reimagined as a live-action adventure.
Leading the series is Gordon Cormier, who will play Aang, a courageous and carefree twelve-year-old who also happens to be the Avatar, master of the four elements, and custodian of the world's balance and peace. Aang, an airbending genius, is a reluctant hero who struggles to balance his responsibilities with his adventurous and lighthearted nature.
Kiawentiio is portraying Katara, a stubborn and optimistic waterbender, the last in her small village. Though she is just fourteen, she has already experienced immense personal tragedy, which has prevented her from reaching her full potential, yet it has never affected her warm and compassionate character.
Ian Ousley is set to play Sokka, Katara's 16-year-old sardonic and resourceful brother. Outwardly confident, even arrogant, he takes his role as tribal leader seriously, despite his underlying doubts about his warrior abilities concerns that he covers with his wit and deadpan sense of humor.
Dallas Liu is playing Zuko, a skillful firebender, and the Fire Nation's intense and defended Crown Prince. He is currently exploring the world in exile, obsessed with capturing the Avatar because he thinks this is the only way to restore his life and live up to the expectations of his harsh and tyrannical father, the Fire Lord.
“A live-action version would establish a new benchmark in representation and bring in a whole new generation of fans,” said Albert Kim. “This was a chance to showcase Asian and Indigenous characters as living, breathing people. Not just in a cartoon, but in a world that truly exists, very similar to the one we live in.”
Kim continued, “I also knew what I didn't want to do. I didn't want to change things for the sake of change. I didn't want to modernize the story or twist it to fit current trends. Aang is not going to be a gritty antihero. Katara is not going to get curtain bangs.”
“We'll be expanding and growing the world, and there will be surprises for existing fans and those new to the tale, but throughout this process, our byword has been "authenticity," To the story, To the characters, To the cultural influences, Authenticity is what keeps us going, both in front of the camera and behind it.”
Nickelodeon Animation Studios produced the animated tv series Avatar: The Last Airbender. Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko co-created it, with Aaron Ehasz serving as lead writer. From February 2005 until July 2008, it aired on Nickelodeon for three seasons. The entire series was published on Blu-ray in June 2018 to mark the tenth anniversary of its finale, and it is available on Netflix in the United States and Canada in May 2020.
‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ was also adapted into a live-action movie titled, ‘The Last Airbender’ directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film was produced by Nickelodeon and distributed by Paramount.
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