Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender Live-Action Series Adds Star Trek Icon George Takei And More As Beloved Side Characters

George Takei on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
(Image credit: YouTube)

The beloved animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender has been in the process of being adapted as a live-action TV show for a long time now, but things have seemingly been rolling along smoothly, and Netflix has unveiled the last of its big casting announcements. With its core cast already confirmed, and quite a few rumored co-stars having made the rounds, Netflix confirmed the rest of the ensemble, which will include some exciting faces, like Star Trek icon George Takei.

We already know a bit about the show, and it had been announced that the core cast of the remake was set in place. The principal cast includes Gordon Cormier as the Avatar Aang, Kiawentiio as Katara, Ian Ousley as Sokka, Dallas Liu as Zuko, Elizabeth Yu as Azula, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Iroh, and Daniel Dae Kim as Fire Lord Ozai. They had also confirmed various recurring characters including Maria Zhang as Suki and Yvonne Chapman as Avatar Kyoshi. While all this is super exciting, Netflix has confirmed quite a few big names coming in to play beloved side characters like King Bumi, the Cabbage Merchant, and more.

George Takei, Randall Duk Kim And More Joining The Cast Of Avatar: The Last Airbender

The press release from Netflix confirms George Takei as Koh. His character lives in the spirit world and is an ancient spirit that steals the faces of others. In the original show, Koh shows up toward the end of Book One when Aang visits the spirit world while trying to help save the water tribe. I’m positive hearing Takei’s iconic voice will be haunting as Koh, and I can’t wait to see how he portrays the character toward the end of Season 1. 

Along with Takei, Randall Duk Kim will also be joining the spirit world as Wan Shi Tong. The actor known for his roles in Kung Fu Panda and John Wick will be playing the Spirit of Knowledge, who appears as a giant owl that runs the Spirit Library.

Ruy Iskander will join the cast as Lt. Jee. Iskander is known for his work in Yes Day and Benders. Lt. Jee is a fire bender and senior officer helping Prince Zuko find the Avatar.

Last of the new names is Lucian-River Chauhan, who plays Teo, the energetic and hang-gliding expert son of the Mechanist (who I’ll talk more about later). Chauhan is very young, and this is his first massive project, however, he did star with Riz Ahmed in Encounter.

Utkarsh Ambudkar in Ghosts, Arden Cho in Partner Track and Danny Pudi on Community

(Image credit: CBS, Netflix, NBC)

Arden Cho, Utkarsh Ambudkar And Danny Pudi Among Many Confirmed As Part Of The Avatar: The Last Airbender Cast

While these four actors mentioned above are new casting announcements. Netflix also confirmed some exciting names that had been rumored. All the characters mentioned below show up toward the middle of Season 1 when Aang, Katara and Sokka make their way to the Earth Kingdom. 

Arden Cho, who recently starred Partner Track on Netflix and is known for her role on Teen Wolf, will be playing June, the ruthless bounty hunter. She tracks her prey with Nyla, her pet shirshu, who can sniff out anything anywhere. Cho has been a big advocate for breaking stereotypes and advocating for more representation on television, which she did on Partner Track. Avatar: The Last Airbender has also made an active effort to do so as well by casting and showcasing “Asian and Indigenous characters,” as showrunner Albert Kim said in the press release.

Another exciting addition to the cast is Utkarsh Ambudkar as King Bumi. The actor is best known for his role in the CBS comedy Ghosts, which returns to the fall TV schedule this week. King Bumi is a silly, silly guy who rules over Omashu. He was one of Aang’s friends before the young Avatar got stuck in ice, and the two reunite in Season 1. Personally, I can’t wait to see how Ambudkar plays this quirky character in the remake.

Adding to the list of funny guys joining the cast, Danny Pudi, who recently starred in Mythic Quest and was part of the iconic Community cast, plays The Mechanist. Pudi’s character is a talented engineer and the father of Teo, played by Chauhan. The gang meets the father-son duo on a trip to the Northern Air Temple where Aang learns all about the technological advancements and destruction that happened over the 100 years he was frozen.

Along with these three bigger names, the announcement confirmed the full cast for Season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Some of the other exciting additions include James Sie as the Cabbage Merchant and Amber Midthunder as Princess Yue. The list also confirmed Azula’s right-hand women: Momona Tamada as Ty Lee and Thalia Tran as Mai. These two characters play minor roles in Season 1 but will play huge roles in Seasons 2 and 3.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is a show near and dear to many viewers, including myself. It has stayed relevant for a long time, and after a not-so-great live-action movie, hopefully, this show can bring the iconic characters and stories back to life in a new and refreshing way. Season 1 is in post-production, but there is no release date yet, but this cast announcement is a huge step in the right direction. While we wait for the live-action show to be released, the original animated version of Avatar: The Last Airbender can be watched with a Netflix subscription

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.