Created in 2005, Avatar: The Last Airbender (also known as Avatar: The Legend of Aang) has been regarded by some as one of the most outstanding animated series of all time. The fantastic tale of a clash of elements took viewers on a moving journey through an Asian-inspired world full of colourful characters and fascinating magic.
In 2021, Netflix began work on a live-action version of the famous animation. The first details about the series are slowly emerging – find out who will play the iconic characters and when the series will be available to stream.
Avatar: The Last Airbender potential release date
So far, Netflix hasn’t announced an exact release date for the show, but it has been confirmed that Avatar will debut in 2024.
Take a look at the first images of the characters in the Fire Nation below:
THE FIRE NATION HAS ARRIVED ð¥ Meet Fire Lord Ozai, General Iroh, Princess Azula and Commander Zhao in Avatar: The Last Airbender, coming in 2024. pic.twitter.com/qx3QDhocGz
— Netflix (@netflix) October 17, 2023
Avatar: The Last Airbender plot
The Avatar live-action show is said to be a direct adaptation of the original animated series, and will not take the 2010 live-action film remake into account.
In the world of Avatar, characters can control and manipulate one of the four elements – water, earth, fire, or air – by ‘bending’ them telekinetically. However, only the Avatar has the ability to master all four.
The plot of the show follows Aang, the last surviving bender of his nation and the current Avatar. Aang joins forces with his friends Katara and Sokka to try and end the war with the Fire Nation by defeating Fire Lord Ozai. However, Aang is also being pursued by the exiled prince of the Fire Nation, Zuko.
In a blog post on Netflix, Albert Kim, the showrunner, stressed the importance of staying true to the cultural roots of the story, rather than modernising it or fitting it into current trends. However, it will expand on plot lines more and explore emotional beats with more nuance.
Avatar: The Last Airbender cast
Avatar features many fascinating characters – here are the actors that will be portraying them in the live-action series:
Gordon Cormier – Avatar Aang, 12-year-old boy and the last airbender
Kiawentiio – Katara, 14-year-old girl from the Southern Water Tribe
Ian Ousley – Sokka, Katara’s older brother, 16-year-old warrior of the Water Tribe
Dallas Liu – Prince Zuko, heir to the throne of the Fire Nation, who is tasked to capture Aang
Daniel Dae Kim – Lord Ozai, commander of the Fire Nation’s armies and Zuko’s father
Maria Zhang – Suki, Kyoshi Warrior in the Earth Kingdom
Paul Sun-Hyung – Uncle Iroh, retired general of the Fire Nation and Zuko’s uncle
Elizabeth Yu – Azula, Fire Nation princess and Zuko’s sister
Momona Tamada – Ty Lee, right-hand woman to Azula
Thalia Tran – Mei, also a supporter of Azula
Lim Kay Siu – Monk Gyatso, Ang’s mentor and guardian
Ken Leung – Commander Zhao, leader of the Fire Nation army
Amber Midthunder – Princess Yue, member of the Northern Water Tribe
Tamlyn Tomita – Yukari, mayor of Kyoshi Island
Yvonne Chapman – Avatar Kyoshi, the former Avatar
Casey Camp-Horinek – Gran Gran, Katara and Soka’s grandmother
Arden Cho – June, a bounty hunter
A Martinez – Master Pakku, a water-bending master of the Northern Water Tribe
Nathaniel Arcand – Chief Arnook, leader of the Northern Water Tribe
Meegwun Fairbrother – Avatar Kuruk, a former Avatar
Utkarsh Ambudkar – King Bumi, King of Omashu
Danny Pudi – The Mechanist, inventor and engineer of the Earth Kingdom
Lucian-River Chauhan – Teo, son of the Mechanist
Ruy Iskandar – Lt. Jee, senior officer in the Fire Nation
Hiro Kanagawa – Fire Lord Sozin, former leader of the Fire Nation
C.S. Lee – Avatar Roku, former Avatar
François Chau – The Great Sage, leader of the Five Sages
Ryan Mah – Lt. Dang, officer in the Fire Nation
Randall Duk Kim – Wong Shi Tong, ancient spirit
George Takei – Koh, the Face Stealer, ancient spirit
Fan favourite Toph, one of the most powerful earthbenders and a close companion of Ang, does not yet have a confirmed actress.
Avatar: The Last Airbender crew
Initially, the creators of the original animation, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, were involved in the series’ development. They were supposed to work as producers and showrunners. However, they left the project in 2020.
In an open letter to Avatar fans, DiMartino explained his decision as follows:
I realized I couldn’t control the creative direction of the series, but I could control how I responded. So, I chose to leave the project. It was the hardest professional decision I’ve ever had to make, and certainly not one that I took lightly, but it was necessary for my happiness and creative integrity.
In an Instagram post, Konietzko added:
Though I got to work with some great individuals, both on Netflix’s side and on our own small development team, the general handling of the project created what I felt was a negative and unsupportive environment.
In 2021, Netflix announced the new team for the Avatar: The Last Airbender. Albert Kim (Sleepy Hollow) serves as the showrunner, executive producer, and screenwriter. Dan Lin (The Lego Movie), Roseanne Liang (Creamerie), Lindsey Liberatore (Walker), and Michael Goi (American Horror Story) are co-executive producers for the show.
Initially, the music for the series was to be created by Jemery Zuckerman, who developed the soundtrack for the original animation. However, the composer left the project with DiMartino and Konietzko. Finally, the score for the series is by Takeshi Furukawa.
Avatar: The Last Airbender trailer
For now, Netflix has only released a short clip showing the symbols of the four elements:
How to watch Avatar: The Last AirBender live-action series
The live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last AirBender will be exclusive to Netflix. If you haven’t signed up for Netflix, you can do so on the website, with plans starting from £4.99/$6.99.