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Netflix's 'Avatar: The Last Airbender': Everything we know

After years of eager anticipation, Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Airbender has finally wrapped filming and is in post-production.

Based on the popular Nickelodeon cartoon which was then adapted by M Night Shyamalan into a much-hated film, Avatar: The Last Airbender has still managed to garner a lot of excitement and buzz among fans after securing its status as a cultural phenomenon. 

Directed by Sleepy Hollow director Albert Kim, the series will be helmed by Michael Goi from American Horror Story, Lindsey Liberatore from The Day After Tomorrow and The Lego Movie’s Dan Lin. 

Ahead of its release, here is everything we know about Avatar: The Last Airbender:

 Everything we know about Netflix’s ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’

What is the plot for Avatar: The Last Airbender

The live-action remake will be a retelling of the same adventures of the animated series.

In the Avatar universe, the civilisation is divided into four distinct nations, named after the elements. They are the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, the Air Nomads and the Water Tribers.

Only a special few “Benders” in the nations can use their respective element via telekinesis and martial arts. The one who can “bend” all four elements is the ultimate Avatar.

Aang is the new Avatar among the Air Nomads who is woken from a century-long catatonic stage to bestow harmony among the four nations amidst a burgeoning war imposed by the Fire Nation.

How many episodes will Avatar: The Last Airbender have?

While the show was set to have ten hour-long episodes, it will reportedly have eight episodes that are an hour long each. it is also one of Netflix’s most expensive productions with each episode costing nearly $15 million, accumulating a staggering cost of $120 million for the first season.

Who has been cast in Avatar: The Last Airbender

Talking about the casting decisions, Albert Kim said, “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 a live-action version would establish a new benchmark in representation and bring in a whole new generation of fans.”

Talking about how the casting would help further representation, Kim said, “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.”

Avatar: The Last Airbender has an extensive ensemble cast.

  • Gordon Cormier as Aang
  • Kiawentiio Tarbell as katara
  • Ian Ousley as Sokka
  • Dallas Liu as Zuko
  • Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as uncle Iroh
  • Lim Kay Siu as Gyatso
  • Ken Leung as Commander Zhao
  • Daniel Dae Kim as Ozai
  • Tamlyn Tomita as Yukari
  • Casey Camp-Horinek as Gran Gran
  • Elizabeth Yu as Azula
  • Maria Zhang as Suki
  • Yvonne Chapman as Avatar Kyoshi
  • Amber Midthunder as Yue
  • Rohain Arora as DyBucco

Why did the original creator exit Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender?

In August 2020, the original creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko exited the Netflix project over alleged creative differences.

In his open letter, DiMartino talked about how “things did not go as we [the original creators] had hoped” despite Netflix’s reassurance to be “committed to honouring our vision for this retelling”.

On Instagram, Konietzko said, “Though I got to work with some great individuals, both on Netflix’s side and on our own small development team, the general handling of the project created what I felt was a negative and unsupportive environment.”

Now, the duo are currently helming new animated Avatar projects with Paramount+ and a new studio called Avatar Studios.

What is the production status of Avatar: The Last Airbender?  

Although production was scheduled to commence in 2019, unprecedented delays, including the departure of the original creators and the coronavirus pandemic caused massive setbacks to the production.

After the creators departed in August 2020, filming began in Vancouver, Canada in November 2021 and continued till June 2022. The cast and crew officially filmed for seven long months. On June 18th, the cast had a “wrap party”, hinting that it is currently in post-production.

When will Netflix release Avatar: The Last Airbender?

Netflix wrapped the production for Avatar: The Last Airbender in June 2022. While fans were anticipating a late 2022 release, Netflix Geeked Week 2022 did not feature snippets from the live-action adaptation. Thus, a 2023 release seems most likely.