One of the best animated series of all time, Avatar: The Last Airbender, has been delighting TV watchers for over a decade. Now, 13 years since the final episode of the Emmy Award-winning cartoon aired, we are diving back into the world of spirits and elemental bending. In 2018 Netflix announced that an Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series remake was in the works, and needless to say, fans are eagerly waiting for news about this new iteration of Avatar to come to life.
Set in a fictional world divided into four nations, certain members of the population can control one of the classic elements: fire, water, earth or air. All the nations lived together in harmony, but everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. One person can save the day – the Avatar, the only bender who can master all four elements and restore balance and harmony before everything goes up in flames …literally. Avatar: The Last Airbender follows the latest re-incarnation of this powerful bender – an Air Nomad named Aang – who must let go of his childhood in order to defeat the militaristic Fire nation.
The story of Avatar: The Last Airbender is complex, moving and (if done right) can be a great live-action series. Ahead of the highly anticipated show, we’ve gathered all the juicy intel on the upcoming adaptation. From its release date, trailer, plot, cast, and more, here is everything you need to know about Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix live-action series.
Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix live-action series release date: When does the Avatar live-action series come out?
There is no set release date for Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series right now, but the show will likely be coming out sometime in 2022 or early 2023. On November 16, 2021, the streaming service revealed that production for the live-action series had begun. Sharing a picture of the actors smiling happily together on set, Netflix tweeted the show’s status to fans. You can check out the very wholesome pic for yourself below.
Our live action Avatar: The Last Airbender series is officially in production 🌊 ⛰ 🔥 🌪 pic.twitter.com/Se2Ks6ncyL
— Netflix (@netflix) November 16, 2021
Since filming has officially kicked off, it is safe to say that we can expect updates from Netflix soon, as Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series is now chugging along full steam ahead.
It should also be noted that the upcoming live-action series uses the same technology for filming as Disney Plus’s the Mandalorian called Stagecraft. With this technology, digital environments are rendered on a video wall while the actors perform scenes in real-time. This saves the production tons of time when it comes to editing and post-production.
Avatar: The Last Airbender is filming in a new, custom-built facility featuring a 23,000-square-foot virtual production volume, the same next-generation technology used on Disney+'s The Mandalorian pic.twitter.com/D3uRvOomDk
— Avatar News (@AvatarNews_) November 16, 2021
With this in mind, we may even see the Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix live-action series in the first half of 2022. Since The Mandalorian season 1 was released five months after its first filming day using the same next-generation technology, Avatar could also see a speedy release (fingers crossed). We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.
Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix live-action series trailer: is there a trailer for the Avatar live-action series?
Sorry prospective elemental benders, currently there is no trailer for the Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix live-action series. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there will be one soon either.
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As filming for the show hasn’t wrapped, and we don’t know when the production will move into the editing phase, we can’t give any firm estimates on when a trailer may drop. However, don’t worry; we will keep our eyes peeled for any new updates. Be sure to check in on this guide regularly to keep in the loop.
Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix live-action plot: what happens in the Avatar live-action series?
OK, so here are the big questions: what is the plot of the new Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix live-action series, and will it follow the same story as the award-winning animation? Right now, we don’t have an official synopsis for Netflix’s Avatar remake. However, thanks to the original animation, we can make some pretty solid guesses on what the streamer’s new version of the show will look like.
The animation of Avatar: The Last Airbender follows Aang – the last remaining member of the Air Nomads – who, after being frozen for 100 years, is discovered by two members of the Southern Water Tribe, Katara and her brother Sokka. After thawing out, Aang learns that the militaristic Fire Nation has invaded the other Kingdoms and has nefarious plans to dominate the world. To stop the Firebenders, Aang must master all four elements, become the Avatar and restore balance to the war-torn land.
The good news is that it looks like we can expect Netflix to stick to this script, which helped the original animation go down as one of the best TV series of all time, period. In 2018, Netflix announced that its live-action TV series would be a “re-imagining” of Avatar: The Last Airbender. While this doesn’t mean that the Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix live-action series will be a strict remake, it does indicate that it will follow the same beats and story progression as the first season in the animation did back in 2005.
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In Book One: Water (also known as season 1 of the animated series), we saw Aang, Katara, and Sokka (also known as Team Avatar) travel to the Northern Water Tribe, where Aang is expected to master Waterbending. During the season, Aang learns how the world around him has changed and the importance of his mission.
We also meet the Fire Lord’s banished son, Zuko, who is a wee bit obsessed about the concept of honour, and with fulfilling his mission to bring the Avatar to his evil (and frankly hard to please) dad. Hopefully, we can expect the live-action series to follow this same plot in the future and show Team Avatar beginning their journey with Prince Zuko also hot on their tails. However, as we said, nothing has been confirmed just yet.
Although fans can expect the Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series to stick to the story we all know and love, there may still be some changes to the script as well. In August 2020, the animation’s original creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino (originally signed onto the live-action adaptation) left the production over creative differences.
In an open letter to fans, DiMartino wrote: “Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Avatar has the potential to be good. It might turn out to be a show many of you end up enjoying. But what I can be certain about is that whatever version ends up on-screen, it will not be what Bryan [Konietzko] and I had envisioned or intended to make.”
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Avatar doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to adaptations, and let’s be honest; no one wants a repeat of M. Night Shyamalan’s 2010 live-action movie – which currently holds an impressively low 5% on Rotten Tomatoes.
So hopefully, any big changes to the script or attempts to develop and flesh out characters in Netflix’s live-action series don’t get in the way of the top-tier original plot of Avatar. Though, we are looking forward to what this new Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action adaptation brings to the table.
Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix live-action series cast: who is in the Avatar live-action series?
Netflix has made a number of cast announcements for Avatar: The Last Airbender, and while we are still waiting on a few more character reveals, fans can rest easy knowing the TV series’ main characters have all been cast. Netflix revealed that Gordon Cormier will play Aang, Kiawentiio will be the Waterbender Katara, Ian Ousley will be Katara’s boomerang happy brother Sokka, and Dallas Liu is set to play Prince Zuko.
Water. Fire. Air. Boomerang.
Introducing the first of the cast of Avatar: The Last Airbender. pic.twitter.com/XC7Zyk7rCF
— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) August 12, 2021
Since announcing the four stars, Netflix has also shared that playing Uncle Iroh is Paul Sun-Hyung Lee. Commander Zhao (one of the season’s main antagonists) is Ken Leung, and Aang’s air nomad mentor Gyatso will be played by Kay Siu Lim.
The cast of Netflix's AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER continues to grow.
Meet the actors who will play Uncle Iroh, Gyatso and Commander Zhao. pic.twitter.com/w2vZhDeRPF
— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) November 16, 2021
In a tweet, Daniel Dae Kim (Lost) teased that he would be playing Fire Lord Ozai for the series – the main antagonist in the story and Prince Zuko’s father. It turned out that the star’s teaser is now a confirmed fact, and Kim recently shared a picture of himself in hair and make-up getting ready for filming.
Here is the current cast list of Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix live-action series:
- Gordon Cormier (as Aang)
- Kiawentiio (as Katara)
- Ian Ousley (as Sokka)
- Dallas Liu (as Prince Zuko)
- Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (as Uncle Iroh)
- Daniel Dae Kim (as Fire Lord Ozai)
- Ken Leung (as Commander Zhao)
- Kay Siu Lim (as Gyatso)
- Elizabeth Yu (as Azula)
- Yvonne Chapman (as Kyoshi)
- Maria Zhang (as Suki)
If the live-action series follows the same story as Book One: Water from the animation, long-time fans may be wondering about a few other key characters currently missing from Netflix’s lineup. In the original series, season 1, Team Avatar meets King Bumi, the leader of Omashu in the Earth Kingdom; Jet, one of Katara’s love interests; and the other ghost of Aang’s past life who often acts as his spiritual guide in the series, Avatar Roku, are yet to be confirmed.
There is also no news on any of the characters that we meet once the gang gets to the Northern Water Tribe, either. So, yeah, as you can see, there are still plenty of cast updates that we expect to come our way as filming for the series continues.
We’ll let you know as soon as we know more. In the meantime, fans can look forward to the fact that whatever casting decision the team makes will likely be a solid choice considering the show’s current impressive roster. Sun-Hyung discussed the amazingly diverse and talented cast for the upcoming show, sharing an emotional video praising all his co-stars.
— Netflix World (@NetflixReporter) November 23, 2021
Similarly, showrunner Albert Kim spoke about Avatar’s emphasis on its casting: “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,” Kim explained. “Authenticity is what keeps us going, both in front of the camera and behind it, which is why we’ve assembled a team unlike any seen before—a group of talented and passionate artists who are working around the clock to bring this rich and incredibly beautiful world to life.”
From the touching clip and Kim’s statement, all us Avatar fans can rest easy, knowing that only the very best of the best are being scouted to embody the beloved characters from the original animation.
Where can I watch the Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix live-action series?
Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix live-action series will stream exclusively on Netflix once released (shocking, we know). Meaning that you can only watch it in one place, so you better start renewing your subscriptions. If you are after the original animated series, all three seasons of the Avatar: The Last Airbender animation are also available to watch on Netflix now.
And there you have it, everything you need to know about the Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix live-action series. Check out our guides to Shadow and Bone season 2, and Squid Game season 2 for more on the best Netflix TV series.