Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of the most popular and beloved animated series of all time. The series won a lot of awards and influenced a number of other animated series. Ever since Nickelodeon and Netflix announced a live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, fans have been overjoyed and concerned. Mainly, fans are concerned because the last time Avatar was adapted into live-action, it did not go well. When The Last Airbender film, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, was released in 2010 the film was considered a huge box office disappointment.
Critics and fans alike gave The Last Airbender film negative reviews to the point it stopped the production of potential sequels. When The Last Airbender film failed so bad, many fans have essentially shut down the idea of a live-action adaptation of any kind.
However, sentiment did change in September of 2008 when Netflix and Nickelodeon announced that a live-action TV series was in the works with the original creators of the animated series. It was billed as a re-imagined series. Originally creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konzieto were brought in to be executive producers and showrunners for the upcoming live-action series. However, in June 2020 DiMartino and Konzieto left due to creative differences.
Nevertheless, pre-production for the show went underway as did the casting. The casting for the three main characters Sokka (Ian Qusley), Katara (Kiawentiio Tarbell), and finally the Avatar himself, Aang (Gordon Cormier), was made. Even the villains and supporting characters have been cast. Including Prince Zuko (Dallas Liu), Fire Lord Ozai (Daniel Dae Kim), Uncle Iroh (Paul San-Hyung Lee) and Commander (Ken Leung).
Netflix Announces 5 New Live-Action Avatar: The Last Airbender Cast Memebers
Now Netflix has announced five additional cast members for the upcoming series. Some truly special talent will be joining the world of Avatar. Princess Azula (Elizabeth Yu), Suki (Marla Zhang), Casey Camp-Horinek (Gran Gran), Tamlyn Tomita (Yukari), and Avatar Kyoshi (Yvonne Chapman) have been announced. This cast looks amazing and, most importantly, diverse. What I found to be a nice surprise is the casting of Tamlyn Tomita.
Tomita is well known for playing Kimiko in the Karate Kid and Cobra Kai franchises. Such a well-known veteran actress of her caliber is sure to gain interest from fans. Netflix also released the backgrounds and biographies of the added characters. You can check out the official biography of the characters below:
New Live-Action Avatar: The Last Air Bender Character Bios
- Elizabeth Yu (she/her; Untitled Ray Romano Film, All My Love) will play Azula, the intensely driven princess of the Fire Nation. A firebending prodigy and relentless perfectionist, she’ll stop at nothing to secure her position as the heir to the throne.
- Maria Zhang (she/her) will play Suki, the intimidating leader of the Kyoshi Warriors, an elite female fighting force dedicated to protecting their community and upholding the ideals of their namesake, Avatar Kyoshi.
- Tamlyn Tomita (she/her; The Good Doctor, Cobra Kai) will play Yukari, Suki’s mother and the fiercely protective mayor of her small village on Kyoshi Island.
- Yvonne Chapman (she/her; Kung Fu, Family Law) will play Avatar Kyoshi, a legendary warrior revered for her bravery, fearsome fighting skills, and uncompromising dedication to the cause of justice.
- Casey Camp-Horinek (she/her, Barking Water, Reservation Dogs) will play Gran Gran, Katara and Sokka’s grandmother and the compassionate and wise matriarch of the Southern Water Tribe.
With these released character bio’s, fans can feel reassured that Netflix is keeping to the source material. Fans should be overjoyed and excited that these characters will have the same distinct personalities as their animated counterparts. Hopefully, the actors will honor and continue the legacy of these memorable characters from the Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise.
There is currently no release date for the Avatar: Last Airbender live-action TV series. We do know the series will release on Netflix. The series will star Gordon Cormier, Kiawentiio Tarbell, Ian Ousley, Dallas Liu, Daniel Dae Kim, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Lim Kay Siu, Ken Leung, Lim Kay Siu, Elizabeth Yu, Yvonne Chapman, Tamlyn Tomita, Casey Camp-Horinek, and Maria Zhang. The series will be written by Albert Kim and directed by Michael Goi and Roseanne Liang.
What do you think of the additional cast and characters? Are you hopeful for the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender? Do you think live-action adaptation of animated properties is possible to do well? Let us know what you think in the comments below and share all your Avatar thoughts with us on Twitter.