Earlier this week, fansite Avatar News posted a story that speculated several Canadian actors that matched the casting call description began following each other and crew members on their official Instagrams. The cast included Gordon Cormier (The Stand, Lost in Space) as Aang, Kiawentiio Tarbell (Anne with an E) as Katara, Ian Ousley (13 Reasons Why) as Sokka, and Dallas Liu (Shang-Chi, PEN15) as Zuko.
Now today, Netflix has officially confirmed that those actors have indeed been cast in Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series. Gordon Cormier (12-years-old) is of Filipino-Canadian descent. Kiawentiio Tarbell (14-years-old) is of North American Mohawk descent. Ian Ousley (19-years-old) states he is of Asain-Indigenous Cherokee descent. While Dallas Liu (19-years-old) is of Japanese-Canadian descent. The streaming service took extra care of making the characters ethnically diverse and accurate from the animated series it is based on. PoPing Auyeung (Shang-Chi, Crazy Rich Asians) was the casting director for the series.
The announcement also confirmed that Albert Kim (Nikita, Sleepy Hollow) is indeed the showrunner/writer of the series after the original creators’ Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko left the project last year. The show will include many different directors throughout production including Michael Goi (Swamp Thing, American Horror Story), Roseanne Liang (Shadow in the Cloud, Friday Night Bites), and Jabbar Raisani (Lost in Space, Game of Thrones). In a Netflix blog post Albert Kim mentions how he fell in love with the show with his daughter during its original run in 2005:
“Flash forward 15 years. Netflix offers me the opportunity to develop a live-action remake of ‘Avatar’. My first thought was, ‘Why? What is there I could do or say with the story that wasn’t done or said in the original?’ ‘A:TLA’ had only grown in popularity and acclaim over the last decade and a half, which is a testament to how complete and resonant a narrative experience it had been. So if it ain’t broke, why fix it? But the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I became. VFX technology has advanced to the point where a live-action version can not only faithfully translate what had been done in animation — it can bring a rich new visual dimension to a fantastic world. We’ll be able to see bending in a real and visceral way we’ve never seen before.”
Production begins this November and runs through May 2022 in Vancouver, Canada. We at Knight Edge Media revealed the working title throughout production would be Trade Winds. As well as revealing the series casting call character descriptions and logline.
Avatar: The Last Airbender will stream exclusively on Netflix in late 2022
Meet the cast of our Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series! pic.twitter.com/EaPqmuo94e
— Netflix (@netflix) August 12, 2021