Everything to Know About Avatar: The Last Airbender's Netflix Live-Action Adaptation
by Jaskiran Kaur | Sat, 18 Dec 2021 08:59:02 GMT
Netflix to make its live-action remake of Avatar: The Last Airbender; Credits: Collider

In the age of live-action films, it would be an injustice to not have one of the greatest animated movies of our times turned into a live-action film, too. Netflix, the premiere streaming service, has taken on the responsibility for creating the live-action film for Avatar: The Last Airbender series and has now finally found the actors it would be casting for the roles of Azula, Suki, Avatar Kyoshi, Gran Gran, and Yukari, Suki's mother. 

Azula is to be portrayed by Elizabeth Yu from All My Love. The character is the daughter of Fire Lord Ozai, and her sibling is Zuko. A fire-bending prodigy and perfectionist when it comes to her art, Azula has her eyes set on the throne of the fire-bending avatars. Suki will be played by Maia Zhang, who is a distinguished female fighter who is very well versed with her talents and comes from the group of Kyoshi Warriors, a force created by female warriors. 

Avatar Kyoshi is to be played by Yvonne Chapman, famous for Family Law. He gets to play the revered fighter Avatar Kyoshi who has made a name for himself owing to his relentless courage, a combination of formidable fighting prowess, and a single-eyed determination to pursue justice. 

Suki's mother Yukari will be played by Tamlyn Tomita from Cobra Kai, and is the mayor of Kyoshi Island along with the protective head of the place. Then, there is Gran Gran, who will be portrayed by Casey Camp-Horinek, known for Reservation Dogs. Gran Gran is the matriarch leader of the Water Tribe of the Southern lands and Katara, apart from being the grandmother of Sokka. 

The series has already cast Gordon Cormier, who will be playing the show lead Aang, Kiawntiio, who will portray Katara, and Ian Ousley, who will be seen as Sokka. Furthermore, Zuko will be portrayed by Dallas Liu, Fire Lord Ozai by Daniel Dae Kim, Uncle Iroh by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Commander Zhao by Ken Leung, and monk Gyatso by Lim Kay Siu.

The Last Airbender has sported an immense fan base passing over generations, and many fans have asked for a live-action remake of the Nickelodeon series. Millennials practically grew up with the show while the younger kids got introduced to the series later on but are particularly interested in the charms of the cartoons. 

The story of the series follows a boy, aged 12, who is responsible for saving the world and does exactly that with the help of his friends Katara, Sokka, and more as they face various challenges and hurdles in their noble ways. The kids go on to free the Water Tribe and Earth Kingdoms from the thumb of the Fire Nation, leading them to their own prosperous rulings. While the cartoon does have another live-action remake, a Netflix series could not hurt either. 

Reportedly, the series has been in talks since 2018, but not much was told earlier. Now, as the series is finally picking up pace there is a lot to know about the latest attempt at immortalizing Avatar: The Last Airbender. 

The series was to have the original creators of the cartoons on board. Melissa Cobb, Netflix's vice president of Kids Entertainment shared, “We are committed to honoring Bryan and Mike’s vision for this retelling and are thrilled to support them on creating a live-action event series, bringing Aang's epic world of elemental magic to life for global audiences on Netflix.” Unfortunately, the original creators dropped out of the show due to some disagreement.  

Speaking about why he and Bryan will not be on the show's team, Michael Dante DiMartino revealed: “When Bryan and I signed on to the project in 2018, we were hired as executive producers and showrunners. In a joint announcement for the series, Netflix said that it was committed to honoring our vision for this retelling and to supporting us on creating the series. And we expressed how excited we were for the opportunity to be at the helm. Unfortunately, things did not go as we had hoped.”


But he added: “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.”

Bryan Konietzko also shared an independent statement, stating: “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."

He added, "To be clear, this was not a simple matter of us not getting our way. Mike and I are collaborative people; we did not need all of the ideas to come from us. As long as we felt those ideas were in line with the spirit and integrity of Avatar, we would have happily embraced them. However, we ultimately came to the belief that we would not be able to meaningfully guide the direction of the series.”

The Last Airbender has found cast members for its remaining characters; Credits: Variety

The new team to run the show is led by the executive producer and writer Albert Kim, also known for "Sleepy Hollow" and "Nikita," producing the series executively with the help of Dan Lin, known for The Lego Movie, Rideback, and Aladdin. The team is joined by Lindsey Liberatore, famous for Walker and Michael Goi, who are behind Swamp Thing and American Horror Story. The series will be directed by Goi, Jabbar Raisani, and Jet Wilkinson, who will be joined by Roseanne Lang in the team.