As the highly anticipated live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender continues to inch closer to production, we have a lot to look forward to. That’s thanks to the stellar cast that Netflix is building to help bring the epic anime-inspired fantasy world to life.
Originally, series creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko came aboard the adaptation as showrunners, but they departed in 2020 citing creative differences. Now Albert Kim (Sleepy Hollow) is the mastermind behind the production and will be acting as showrunner, executive producer, and writer.
In a cast announcement, Kim blames his daughter for his involvement in the series. Tasked by the young girl to explain what was happening on the TV, Kim says: “I found myself sucked into the world and characters, and soon we were watching side by side, both of us swept away by the singular mix of action, humor, and epic storytelling.”
Here’s the cast bringing the action, humor, and storytelling to life in Netflix’s upcoming adaptation.
Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender cast
- Gordon Cormier — Aang
- Kiawentiio — Katara
- Ian Ousley — Sokka
- Dallas Liu — Prince Zuko
- Daniel Dae Kim — Firelord Ozai
On casting, Kim says:
“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.”
The casting reflects Kim’s word. Playing Aang, Gordon Cormier is a Filipino-Candian actor and Katara’s Kiawentiio is a Mohawk actress. All the actors are close in age to their animated counterparts as well, preempting a common criticism against live-action adaptations.
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Dallas Liu⏤the Chinese actor portraying Prince Zuko⏤said “I’m just as much of a fan of Zuko as everyone else is. So I mean, obviously I’m excited because this is like a dream, but at the same time, it gets a little nerve-wracking.” Liu’s first role was a young Jin Kazama in Tekken (2009), and more recently he played Ruihua in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. With a career built on martial arts prowess, he seems like a perfect fit for the exiled prince.
Daniel Dae Kim, cast as Firelord Ozai, previously voiced General Fong in the original series as well as Asami’s industrialist father Hiroshi Sato in The Legend of Korra. Word of the Lost and Hawaii Five-0 actor’s involvement sparked a small uproar on social media, with the cast getting involved as well. A tweet from the fan account Avatar News on Twitter shows Cromier and Liu expressing their excitement over Kim’s casting on Instagram.
Off screen, The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra composer Jeremy Zuckerman returns to the franchise as well, but there are many big roles and fan-favorite characters left to cast. Casting for Toph, the blind earthbending master of Team Avatar, has yet to be revealed. Similarly, Azula, Sukki, and the beloved Uncle Iroh have yet to be cast. There’s also currently no word on auditions for Appa.
There’s plenty of time to speculate, though. We still don’t know when filming will begin or what Netflix envisions as a release date for Avatar: The Last Airbender, but the anticipation for this hot new series is only just beginning.