The live-action reboot of Avatar: The Last Airbender has finally revealed its cast and showrunner. According to Deadline, the new Netflix series, which is reportedly set to start filming in Vancouver this November, has found its leading actors to portray some of the most famous animated characters of the last decade.
Today, Netflix revealed that Gordon Cormier (The Stand), Kiawentiio (Anne with an E), Ian Ousley (13 Reasons Why), and Dallas Liu (PEN15) were cast as series regulars on the show.
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Cormier will take on the leading role of Aang in the series. The young airbender, who works to become the Avatar throughout the show, is a fan-favorite, and Cormier will have a lot of pressure to bring the character’s same energy. The equally young actor is well equipped with a long list of roles at just 11 years old. Aang is just 12 years old in the show so a thumbs up for Netflix for making a real-life casting and not fall into Hollywood’s trend of having much older actors star in younger roles.
Kiawentiio will play Katara, a water bender and one of Aang’s best friends. The two end up becoming love interests, but the huge age disparity between the actors for the characters gives credence to the romance being broken up for the live-action series. Ousley takes on the role of Katarra’s brother, Sokka. The brash, confident leader of the tribe was a great comedic relief during the show. His story was one of the most compelling throughout the show for a lot of fans.
Finally, Liu has been casted as the main villain, Zuko. The skilled firebender has been exiled from his tribe at the beginning of the show and is in search of Aang, the last Avatar. He does this in the hopes of being able to return with the huge notch under his belt. The two clash heads many times in the show.
Along with the casting, Netflix announced that Albert Kim (Sleepy Hollow) will be showrunner, an executive producer, and writer for the series. In a blog post obtained by Deadline, Kim shared his excitement about the show and the diversity among the castmates. “A live-action version would establish a new benchmark in representation and bring in a whole new generation of fans,” he wrote, “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.”
The new Netflix series has been in limbo for a solid amount of time so it is great to see the show finally get underway this year. Stay tuned for more info on Avatar: The Last Airbender as more casting decisions are made.