The highly-anticipated live-action adaptation of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is finally about to debut on Netflix.
The eight-episode first season, with hour-long episodes, centers on the core battle between the dueling elements of Water, Earth, Fire, and Air, four nations that are suddenly at war while a new Avatar has yet to emerge and keep the peace. Gordon Cormier plays the titular Avatar, with Kiawentiio, Ian Ousley, Dallas Liu, Ken Leung, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, and Daniel Dae Kim rounding out the cast.
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The official synopsis reads: “The four nations once lived in harmony, with the Avatar, master of all four elements, keeping peace between them. But everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked and wiped out the Air Nomads, the first step taken by the firebenders towards conquering the world. With the current incarnation of the Avatar yet to emerge, the world has lost hope. But like a light in the darkness, hope springs forth when Aang (Gordon Cormier), a young Air Nomad — and the last of his kind — reawakens to take his rightful place as the next Avatar. Alongside his newfound friends Sokka (Ian Ousley) and Katara (Kiawentiio), siblings and members of the Southern Water Tribe, Aang embarks on a fantastical, action-packed quest to save the world and fight back against the fearsome onslaught of Fire Lord Ozai (Daniel Dae Kim). But with a driven Crown Prince Zuko (Dallas Liu) determined to capture them, it won’t be an easy task. They’ll need the help of the many allies and colorful characters they meet along the way.”
Netflix’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” was first announced in 2018 as a live-action reimagining of the award-winning and beloved Nickelodeon animated series created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who return to the franchise to pen the pilot episode after previously exiting the project in 2020 over creative differences.
DiMartino wrote an open letter at the time sharing why the duo stepped down as showrunners and executive producers. “In a joint announcement for the series, Netflix said that it was committed to honoring our vision for this retelling and to supporting us on creating the series,” DiMartino wrote. “And we expressed how excited we were for the opportunity to be at the helm. Unfortunately, things did not go as we had hoped. Productions are challenging. Unforeseen events arise. Plans have to change. And when those things have happened at other points during my career, I try to be like an Air Nomad and adapt. I do my best to go with the flow, no matter what obstacle is put in my way. But even an Air Nomad knows when it’s time to cut their losses and move on.”
M. Night Shyamalan formerly helmed a 2010 live-action film adaptation as well, but DiMartino and Konietzko were not involved in the feature.
For the Netflix live-action series, Albert Kim (“Sleepy Hollow,” “Nikita”) now serves as showrunner, executive producer, and writer. Jabbar Raisani (“Lost in Space,” “Stranger Things”) and Michael Goi are executive producers and directors alongside directors Roseanne Liang (also a co-executive producer) and Jet Wilkinson.
Dan Lin (“The Lego Movie,” “Aladdin”) and Lindsey Liberatore (“Walker”) serve as executive producers from Rideback. The series features music by Takeshi Furukawa.
“Avatar: The Last Airbender” premieres February 22 on Netflix. Check out the trailer below.
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