Calling all ATLA enthusiasts, we finally have news about Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender! After days of guessing, Netflix has made the official word and released the confirmed cast. Listed below are the actors comprising Team Avatar.
Before that, here’s what went on:
Suspicions started when an insider from Avatar News put some pieces together and revealed this casting information with “99.9% confidence.” Since then, fans were quick to swarm on this revelation and exchange their insights which were dominantly positive. (Sounds like a PR strategy to me? Probably testing the fans’ opinions?) Either way, I am genuinely certain that you’ll feel excited with this casting as well. Because unlike the first live-action (no shade!), these actors actually have a lot closer resemblance to the original. To add, it seems that half of the squad are of Asian descent!
First up, the star of the show, as Aang we have Gordon Cormier.
He is Filipino-Canadian and is also 12 years old like Aang before he froze in the ice! You may have seen him in Paramount+’s The Stand and Netflix’s Lost in Space.
Next, in the role of Katara is Kiawentiio Tarbell.
She is a 14-year-old, Indigenous North American (Mohawk) actress. Kiawentiio has also acted in another Netflix series, Anne with an E.
Following is, of course, Katara’s comrade in sibling form, Sokka will be played by Ian Ousley.
Ian is 19 years old, North American (Cherokee) actor, and has played in Netflix’s Thirteen Reasons Why and Apple TV’s Physical.
Finally, the character who arguably has the greatest development in the show, Zuko. He will be portrayed by Dallas Liu.
Dallas is a 19-year-old, Chinese-Indonesian-American actor. He is also part of Marvel Studios’ upcoming film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Notice someone missing? It’s Toph, the greatest Earthbender! There is no news nor speculations on who will play the character. Still, we are liking the representation so far. It has undeniably raised our expectations of this being as wonderful as the original.
Aside from the cast, Netflix has also announced that Albert Kim (who is also of Asian descent!) will be the show’s executive producer and writer. In terms of representation, Kim seems to have an attuned vision for the show writing, “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.“
Although the original producers of the animated series have stepped out of the production, there seems to be no reason to worry as Kim also expressed, “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.” He added, “Don’t get me wrong. 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.” Prior to this show, he has also worked on several hit series like Sleepy Hollow and Nikita.
Now with great certainty, we can all expect that this adaptation won’t vanish and the Avatar will indeed return to save the world.