When it comes to live-action adaptations of cartoons, the last couple of years have been ripe with the announcements of new additions to the pack, but nothing has gotten quite as much hype as when Netflix announced they were developing an Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action TV show for the popular streaming platform.
Like many others, I grew up watching Avatar. I have a deep love for it in my heart - I even have an Appa hat! So, when I heard another live-action version was going to be released (after the horror show that was the M. Night Shyamalan film adaptation), I was understandably a bit hesitant. Luckily, we know a little bit about this upcoming series, including its focus on POC characters, and trying to get this adaptation just right for the fans.
What Is The Live-Action Avatar: The Last Airbender Premiere Date?
Get excited, because we have an official release date! The live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender TV show will premiere on February 22, 2024, as announced by Netflix in early November 2023. It will be a part of the 2024 TV schedule.
The show was announced several years ago in 2020, right when the original cartoon started to gain traction again on Netflix. And now, we finally know when it will release. I'm so freaking excited.
Gordon Comier, Kiawentiio, Ian Ousley And More Have Been Cast For The Series
Even if we don’t have a set premiere date yet for the Avatar: The Last Airbender series, we do, at the very least, know some of the major characters of the series. Aang, Katara, Sokka and Zuko are all prominent figures in the series and have been cast.
According to the official cast list from Netflix Tudum, Gordon Cormier is starring as Aang, the titular Avatar, who is an airbending prodigy and must learn all four elements to stop the Fire Lord. Kiawentiio is Katara, a young girl who is the last waterbender of the Southern Tribe.
Ian Ousley is Sokka, Katara’s funny, older brother, who takes his warrior skills seriously and wants to keep his tribe protected. Dallas Liu is Zuko, the banished prince of the Fire Nation, who is on an obsessive quest to somehow find the Avatar, return them back to his father, and regain his honor.
Several other stars have been announced as well from that Tudum article, including Daniel Dae Kim as Fire Lord Ozai (who was voiced by Mark Hamill in the cartoon series), Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Iroh, Maria Zhang as Suki, Elizabeth Yu as Azula, Tamlyn Tomita and Yukari, Yvonne Chapman as Avatar Kyoshi, and Casey Camp-Horinek as Gran-Gran – and this isn’t even the full ensemble cast list. Truly, a full set of stars for sure.
Check Out The Teaser For Avatar: The Last Airbender
We're waited so long to see a teaser for the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender show, and now, we finally got our first look -- and it is a visual masterpiece. The trailer features out first looks at the main characters, the bending that we will see, and the beautiful worlds that we are going to see in the show. And yes, I am even more excited now.
The Series Is A Live-Action Adaptation Of The Cartoon Of The Same Name
Obviously for those who don’t know, this is a live-action adaptation of the Nickelodeon cartoon series of the same name, Avatar: The Last Airbender. The series starts out with siblings Katara and Sokka finding Aang frozen in an iceberg, where he awakens after 100 years, and now must learn all four elements in order to be able to stop Fire Lord Ozai from taking over the world during the legendary Sozin’s Comet, where Firebending would be at its most powerful.
The series ran for three seasons, spawned a sequel series, The Legend of Korra, and has had multiple continuations in comic and novel form, revealing new stories all the time. A new animated film is in the works as well, so the franchise is very successful. It’s not that surprising that a live-action adaptation is coming to Netflix.
Albert Kim Is The Showrunner For The Live-Action Avatar Series
According to Deadline, it also came out that Albert Kim would be acting as showrunner, as well as executive producer, for the Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series.
Kim has worked on several other TV shows before as a writer and a producer, including Sleepy Hollow, Nikita, ESPN Hollywood, and more, so it’s exciting to see him take on the challenge of adapting this beloved series.
In a press update from Netflix, Kim talked about his love for the show, and how the idea of bringing this world to the streaming platform got him thinking:
For someone as passionate as he is about the show, I’m eager to see what he adds in terms of bringing these characters we love to life.
Kim Is Focused On Authentically Representing The Avatar Characters In The Live-Action Series
Throughout the same press update from Netflix, Kim continued to say that his plan is to not only expand on the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender as a whole, but to still stay as authentic to the original experience as possible, including the proper representation of each of the characters...
The representation of the main characters was one of the biggest critiques of the only other Avatar: The Last Airbender adaptation, so to see someone care so much about wanting to get this version right fills me with hope that this series will be a success.
The Original Avatar Creators Are No Longer Involved In This Series
Now, this is the one aspect of the new Avatar: The Last Airbender series that I’m not feeling. The original creators of the cartoon, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, have left the Netflix series, citing “creative differences” as the main reason for their departure, according to Entertainment Weekly. They later went on to make Avatar Studios with Nickelodeon – something I’m quite excited for when it comes to new stories that could be told.
Now, as an Avatar fan, this, understandably, scared the heck out of me, considering the last thing I wanted was for the series I loved so much to change so heavily. And, since the original creators are no longer involved, that frightened me even more.
However, I do have faith that because Albert Kim loves the series so much and promises that it will be authentic, we will hopefully have a great addition to the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe.
Filming Has Come To An End
Back when I first wrote this in 2021, according to North Hollywood Buzz (via CBR), the series was rumored to begin shooting in mid-November in Vancouver, Canada, under the working title, “Trading Winds.”
However, it’s been some time since then and based on more recent updates, it appears that filming has already come to a close. Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh, one of the costume designers for the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender, posted a special tribute message to her Instagram, showing off the binders for the working title, “Trading Winds,” and commemorating her time on the series.
A photo posted by on
Several of the other stars have released many pictures of their time on set, including the lead star himself, Gordon Cormier, including a cute picture he took with the whole Avatar: The Last Airbender gang on Instagram while filming.
A photo posted by on
Katara actress, Kiawentiio Tarbell, also posted to Instagram a picture of her and Cormier hanging out together.
A photo posted by on
The actress who is set to play Suki in the series, Maria Zhang, also posted a picture of her in front of her trailer on Instagram as a way to commemorate 2021 before 2022 started, showing off her start of filming for the series.
A photo posted by on
Truly, it’s so exciting to see all these stars share their time on set, and it makes me even more excited for what is to come.
From one-off comics about beloved Avatar characters, to The Legend of Korra spinoff that has captured the hearts of viewers, Avatar: The Last Airbender has a rich and lore-filled universe, and I can only hope that the new Netflix series will cater to that and only add good things, rather than bad. February 2024 can't come soon enough.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!