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Despite the loss of the show's original creators last year, Netflix continues to move forward with its live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The streamer provided a major update on the project Thursday morning with the announcement of a principal cast of series regulars. Gordon Cormier, who recently played Joe in The Stand on CBS All Access, will take on the role of Aang, a fun-loving 12-year-old who must master all four elements (earth, fire, water, and air) in order to defeat the Fire Nation and bring balance to his world. The character doesn't go anywhere without his trusty flying bison, Appa.
Helping the reluctant hero on his journey of self-discovery are two members of the Water Nation: the determined Katara (Anne with an E's Kiawentiio) and her sardonic older brother, Sokka (Physical's Ian Ousley). Dallas Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) will take on the role of Prince Zuko, a brash and headstrong firebender who believes that capturing the Avatar will get him out of exile and back into the good graces of his cruel and controlling father, the Fire Lord.
In an official blog post, showrunner, writer, and executive producer Albert Kim wrote that bringing the beloved Nickelodeon series into the realm of live-action will help "establish a new benchmark in representation and bring in a whole new generation of fans. This was 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."
Check out the cast below:
"We’ll be expanding and growing the world, and there will be surprises for existing fans and those new to the tale," Kim continued. "But throughout this process, our byword has been 'authenticity.' To the story. To the characters. To the cultural influences. 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."
The lineup of directing talent was also announced: Roseanne Liang (Shadow in the Cloud), Michael Goi (American Horror Story), and Jabbar Raisani (Lost in Space). Liang, who won awards at the Toronto International Film Festival and Palm Springs International Film Festival for Shadow in the Cloud, pulls double duty as a co-executive producer.
Netflix has yet to fix a premiere date for the show.