Before Netflix announced the live-action series adaptation of Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender, it was M. Night Shyamalan who first accepted the challenge of making a live-action version of the hit Nickelodeon series with his 2010 movie. However, it ultimately failed to resonate with fans and critics due to a number of reasons, including its inappropriate casting and unimpressive visual effects.
Speaking with EW, Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender showrunner Albert Kim addressed Shymalan’s controversial adaptation, revealing that he “purposefully” avoided watching it during the production of the Netflix series. However, despite not watching the film version, the showrunner admitted that he’s still aware of the criticisms it received.
“I’ll tell you something, I never watched the Shyamalan movie,” Kim explained. “There was a period of time where I thought I should watch it, but then I thought, I don’t really want those images in my head as I start to go forward with our version of this project. So I avoided it purposefully.”
He continued, “I knew what fans didn’t like about it in general. But those kinds of pitfalls weren’t hard to avoid. For instance, an authentic version of the casting, that’s something that we would’ve done regardless. And, to be fair, Shymalan’s movie was made at a time when the technology hadn’t caught up yet to what the world deserved. So I knew that the VFX was going to be much better than whatever they did anyway.”
Who’s the cast of Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender?
Based on Nickelodeon’s beloved animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender hails from Sleepy Hollow’s Albert Kim, who is serving as the showrunner, writer, and executive producer. It will be led by Filipino-Canadian actor Gordon Cormier as Aang, Kiawentiio as Katara, Ian Ousley as Sokka, and Dallas Liu as Zuko. Joining them are Daniel Dae Kim as Fire Lord Ozai, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Uncle Iroh, Lim Kay Siu as Gyatso, and Ken Leung as Commander Zhao.
“Water. Earth. Fire. Air. The four nations once lived in harmony, with the Avatar, master of all four elements, keeping peace between them,” the official synopsis reads. “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.
Additional cast includes Elizabeth Yu as Princess Azula, Maria Zhang as Kyoshi warrior Suki, C.S. Lee as Avatar Roku, Amber Midthunder as Princess Yue, A Martinez as Pakku, Yvonne Chapman as Avatar Kyoshi, Tamlyn Tomita as Yukari, and Casey Camp-Horinek as Gran Gran.