Avatar: The Last Airbender Star Calms M. Night Shyamalan Film Fears

Last week, Netflix & Albert Kim's (Sleepy Hollow, Nikita) reimagined live-action take on Avatar: The Last Airbender had some major casting news to share with fans. Previously, Kim described the series as "a chance to showcase Asian and Indigenous characters as living, breathing people. Not just in a cartoon, but in a world that truly exists, very similar to the one we live in." And even before the most recent additions were announced, previously-cast Gordon Cormier (Aang), Kiawentiio (Katara), Ian Ousley (Sokka), Dallas Liu (Zuko), Elizabeth Yu (Azula), Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (Iroh), Daniel Dae Kim (Fire Lord Ozai), Maria Zhang (Suki), Tamlyn Tomita (Yukari), Yvonne Chapman (Avatar Kyoshi), and Casey Camp-Horinek (Gran Gran) proved that the production was keeping to its word. But for some fans, when you put "live-action" and "last airbender" in the same sentence? A chill runs up their spines and their hairs stand on their ends as they flash back to M. Night Shyamalan's 2010 film take, The Last Airbender. To say the film isn't exactly beloved by fans of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon would be an understatement. Thankfully, Utkarsh Ambudkar (King Bumi) is here to reassure fans that history will not be repeating itself.

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Image: The Last Airbender (film) Screencap

"I think people are really gonna be pleased when they see the series. It's done super well. Everybody who's part of the show loves it. They're going to do it justice," Ambudkar shared during an interview with CBR. But what about those fears of another failed adaptation? "I'm not trying to diss my own people, but… M. Night, I got your back, I ride or die for you, but we're doing something different with this one. That's the most diplomatic way I can say it, and I'm really excited for people to see the action," he added.

Here's a Look at Who's Who in Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender

Now, here's a look back at the rundown of the full cast (with newest additions) that was released last week, as well as who they will be portraying & their position in the upcoming series:

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Image: Netflix

Water Tribe

Amber Midthunder (she/her; Prey, Roswell) as Princess Yue: The compassionate spiritual leader of the Northern Water Tribe.

A Martinez (he/him; Cowboy Bebop, Ambulance) as Pakku: The veteran waterbending master of the Northern Water Tribe and a fierce defender of their traditions.

Irene Bedard (she/her; Pocahontas, The Stand) as Yagoda: An empathetic healer who serves as a role model for her tribe's female waterbenders.

Joel Oulette (he/him; Trickster, Ruby and the Well) as Hahn: A strong and skilled warrior with an unwavering loyalty to his tribe.

Nathaniel Arcand (he/him; Heartland, FBI: Most Wanted) as Chief Arnook: Father to Princess Yue and the respected leader of their tribe.

Meegwun Fairbrother (he/him; Burden of Truth, Mohawk Girls) as Avatar Kuruk: A previous Avatar with a haunted past.

Earth Kingdom

Arden Cho (she/her; Partner Track) as June: A tough and persistent bounty hunter known for her ruthless efficiency.

Utkarsh Ambudkar (he/him; Ghosts, World's Best) as King Bumi: The ancient and mercurial ruler of the Earth Kingdom city of Omashu.

Danny Pudi (he/him; Mythic Quest, Corner Office) as the Mechanist: An eccentric inventor and engineer who's doing his best to raise his son in a war-torn world.

Lucian-River Chauhan (he/him, Encounter, Heartland) as Teo: The idealistic and high-flying son of the Mechanist.

James Sie (he/him; Stillwater) as the Cabbage Merchant: A long-suffering vegetable vendor in Omashu.

Fire Nation

Momona Tamada (she/her; Secret Headquarters, One: Thunder God's Tale) as Ty Lee: An energetic and upbeat teen and one of Princess Azula's best friends.

Thalia Tran (she/her; Raya and the Last Dragon, Little) as Mai: An unflappable and deadpan teen who, along with Ty Lee, is one of Princess Azula's closest allies.

Ruy Iskandar (he/him; Yes Day, Benders) as Lt. Jee: The first officer of Prince Zuko's ship.

Hiro Kanagawa (he/him; Altered Carbon, The Man in the High Castle) as Fire Lord Sozin: The ruthless and ambitious previous ruler of the Fire Nation and grandfather of Fire Lord Ozai.

C.S. Lee (he/him; Dexter, Warrior) as Avatar Roku: A wise and benevolent past Avatar from the Fire Nation.

François Chau (he/him; The Expanse, American Gigolo) as The Great Sage: The venerated spiritual leader of the Fire Nation and guardian of Avatar Roku's shrine.

Ryan Mah (he/him; The Good Doctor, Snowpiercer) as Lt. Dang:Commander Zhao's second-in-command.

Spirit World

George Takei (he/him; Star Trek, Resident Alien) as the voice of Koh: An ancient, predatory spirit.

Randall Duk Kim (he/him; Kung Fu Panda, John Wick) as the voice of Wan Shi Tong: Appears in the form of a giant owl and is also known as the Spirit of Knowledge.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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