After a slow start, Netflix’s highly anticipated live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender rounded out its cast of more than 30 people four years after the project was announced. The show is based on the Nickelodeon animated series of the same name and will “showcase Asian and Indigenous characters as living, breathing people”, per showrunner Albert Kim in a press release for Netflix. She added, “Not just in a cartoon, but in a world that truly exists, very similar to the one we live in.”
The movie has not yet been rated, but its original version is rated for family watching with a TV-Y7 label. Therefore, it is likely the live-action will remain a family-friendly experience. As news about the film unfolds, let’s dig into the cast and all there is to know about Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Avatar The Last Airbender Netflix Cast
Avatar: The Last Airbender It consists of 31 announced cast members that make up the four nations named after the four elements: the Water Tribe, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. Learn about each cast member and how they fit into the movie below.
Gordon Cormier As Aang
Gordon Comier will star as Aang, the last surviving Airbender who can control all four elements. Gordon’s casting was announced in Aug. 2021 and he took to his Instagram page to celebrate. “Wow! I’m so honored to be cast as the Aang in Netflix’s live action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender! Yip yip!” he wrote alongside a photo of three other cast members who were announced. Gordon is 12 years old and most recently voiced a character in the 2022 TV series, Team Zenko Go.
Kiawentiio As Katara
Kiawentiio, 16, was announced as Katara, a waterbender who befriends Aang. Her most notable previous roles include Ka’kwet in the Netflix and CBS series Anne with an E and Maya Thomas in 2021’s Rutherford Falls. She posted the same cast photo as Gordon when she was announced as part of the cast and wrote, “It’s official!! I’m excited to share that I’ve been cast as Katara in Netflix’s live action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender!! I know you all have been waiting, thank you for all the love.”
Daniel Dae Kim As Fire Lord Ozai
Daniel Dae Kim54, of Hawaii Five-0 and Lost fame will play Ozai, the tyrannical leader of the Fire Nation. His response to being cast? The cheeky tweet below.
— Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim) November 3, 2021
Dallas Liu As Prince Zuko
Dallas Liu, 21, is set to play Zuko, a firebender and Crown Prince of the Fire Nation. During the series, his quest is to capture Avatar.
Ian Ousley As Sokka
Ian Ousley, 20, is set to play Sokka, Katara’s brother. Upon his casting, he shared the same photo as Gordon and Kiawetntiio and wrote, “I can NOT believe it but i’ve been cast as Sokka!! in @netflix live action adaptation of avatar the last air bender!” His most notable roles are Robby Corman in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and Zeke Breem in the AppleTV series Physical.
Elizabeth Yu As Azula
Elizabeth Yu was cast to play Azula, the princess of the Fire Nation whose lifelong goal is to secure her right to the throne. Elizabeth, 19, was ecstatic when her casting was announced in Dec. 2021. “This photo was taken a year ago when none of this was ever even a dream I could fathom of imagining,” she captioned a photo of herself posing next to an Avatar setup. “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. What an honor, privilege, and a responsibility that I’m so utterly blessed to have achieved.”
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Uncle Iroh
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, 50, will bring the character of Iroh to life. Iroh is a retired Fire Nation general who mentors his nephew, Prince Zuko. When Paul’s casting was announced on Nov. 21, 2021, he admitted he felt he had “bigshoes to fill”, as seen in the below tweet.
Big shoes to fill by the late GREAT Mako. I hope to do honor and justice to this character while still making it my own. Grateful for this opportunity and excited to start. #letsgo #AvatarTheLastAirbender #iroh https://t.co/ql50VdquOF
— Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (@bitterasiandude) November 16, 2021
George Takei As Koh
Star Trek actor George Takei, 85, will star as Koh, a predatory spirit haunting the world. This is a voiced role.
Randall Duk Kim As Wan Shi Tong
Randall Duk Kimwho has appeared in John Wick and Kung Fu Pandawill also voice a character in the live-action Avatar series. The actor, 78, will play Wan Shi Tong, a giant owl known as the Spirit of Knowledge.
Utkarsh Ambudkar As King Bumi
King Bumi, an ancient ruler of Omashu and a lifelong childhood friend of Aang, will be brought to life by Utkarsh Ambudkar39. Some of his notable projects include 2012’s Pitch Perfect2020’s The Broken Hearts Galleryand 2021’s Tick, Tick… Boom!.
Danny Pudi As The Mechanist
Danny Puddy43, who is best known for his roles in Community and Mythic Questis playing the Mechanist, an “inventor engineer who’s doing his best to raise his son in a war-torn world”, per Netflix.
Arden Cho As June
Arden Cho, 37, was cast as June, a ruthless bounty hunter. Arden’s most memorable projects include Teen Wolf, Chicago Medand The Honor List.
Other supporting cast members, grouped by nation, can be seen below.
Amber Midthunder as Princess Yue, A Martinez as pakku, Irene Bedard as Yagoda, Joel Oulette as Hahn, Nathaniel Arcand as Chief Arnook, and Meegwun Fairbrother as Avatar Kuruk.
Lucian-River Chauhan as Teo and James Sie as the cabbage merchant.
Momona Tamada as Ty Lee, Thalia Tran as Mai, Ruy Iskandar as lt. jee, Hiro Kanagawa as Fire Lord Sozin, CS Lee as Avatar Roku, François Chau as the Great Sage, and Ryan Mah as lt. Dang.
Release Date and Where to Watch
Since the live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender is a Netflix series, it will be available to all Netflix users once it’s released. The release date, however, is a huge mystery. The film was announced back in 2018 and started filming in 2021, so it does not seem as if Netflix is in a huge rush to get the show out. There have been no hints or teasers about the film’s release date, either, as of this writing.
When the show is released, it has been reported by FLIXDown that there will be eight or 10 hour-long episodes in the first season. Furthermore, the show is expected to be one of Netflix’s most expensive, coming in at an estimated $15 million per episode to make.
The live-action Avatar will closely follow the original plot of the series, which first aired on Nickelodeon in 2005. In a letter to fans addressing concerns that the live-action series would differ too much from the original, showrunner Albert Kim said she would never change it in a distasteful manner. “I didn’t want to change things for the sake of change. I didn’t want to modernize the story, or twist it to fit current trends. Aang is not going to be a gritty antihero. Katara is not going to get curtain bangs. (I was briefly tempted to give Sokka a TikTok account though. Think of the possibilities.),” she penned.
“Don’t get me wrong. We’ll be expanding and growing the world, and there will be surprises for existing fans and those new to the tale. But throughout this process, our byword has been ‘authenticity.’ To the story. To the characters. To the cultural influences,” she continued. “Authenticity is what keeps us going, both in front of the camera and behind it, which is passionate why we’ve assembled a team unlike any seen before — a group of talented and artists who are working around the clock to bring this rich and incredibly beautiful world to life.”
With that being said, the original series description as posted to Netflix reads, “Siblings Katara and Sokka wake young Aang from a long hibernation and learn he’s an Avatar, whose air-bending powers can defeat the evil Fire Nation.”
As noted above, the overall project of Avatar: The Last Airbender was announced in 2018 and didn’t reveal its star until 2021, so the production timeline has been a slow-moving one. Perhaps one thing that pushed production back was the fact that Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who co-created the original animated series, left the production at some point after its inception. Its executive producers are currently Albert Kim, Dan Lin, Lindsey Liberatoreand Michael Goi. Michael also serves as a director alongside co-executive producer Roseanne Liang, Jabbar Raisani and Jet Wilkinson.
Filming began in Nov. 2021, according to Kiawentiio’s Instagram, and ended in June, per FLIXDOWN. It is currently in post-production, per IMDb, which makes it interesting that several cast members were announced in Sept. 2022. If the show truly is in its post-production stages, fans can have a series available very soon.