It looks like the long wait has finally come to an end, as Netflix is moving forward with their live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series. Not only that, but they also found their core cast and creative team for the project. Sleepy Hollow’s Albert Kim has joined the project as showrunner, executive producer, and writer. It’s the first confirmation of his involvement since Illuminerdi dropped the rumor back in February. He’ll work alongside fellow executive producers, Dan Lin, and Lindsey Liberatore. Goi Roseanne Liang and Jabbar Raisani join the project as directors.
They also found their cast with Gordon Cormier playing Aang, the “fun-loving twelve-year-old who just happens to be the Avatar, master of all four elements.” The waterbending siblings’ Katara and Sokka will be played by Kiawentiio and Ian Ousley. Finally, the firebending prince of the Fire Nation, Zuko, also joins the cast in the form of young actor Dallas Liu, who some might know from PEN15. Kim had the following to say in a blog post on the importance of this series heading into live-action:
A live-action version would establish a new benchmark in representation and bring in a whole new generation of fans. 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.
It hasn’t been an easy road for the project, as it originally included the creators of the Nickelodeon animated show before they left due to creative differences. The Last Airbender ran for three seasons before it got a sequel in 2012 titled The Legend of Korra. Nickelodeon is currently looking to expand the franchise, with the creators starting a new studio, which will develop films and series for Paramount+. It’ll be interesting to see how the live-action version will adapt the original series, and how different the paths will be from the new studio.