Cameras are now rolling on Avatar: The Last Airbender. In the works at Netflix, the new series is a live-action reimagining of the original animated show with no connection to the previous movie adaptation. On Tuesday, Netflix announced that principal photography has officially begun. Showrunner, executive producer, and writer Albert Kim also addressed the upcoming show.
“Finally, a live-action version would establish a new benchmark in representation and bring in a whole new generation of fans,” 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. I also knew what I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want to change things for the sake of change. I didn’t want to modernize the story, or twist it to fit current trends. Aang is not going to be a gritty antihero. Katara is not going to get curtain bangs.”
The showrunner also notes, “Don’t get me wrong. 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. 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.”
Several cast members have also been announced, and they join previously announced cast members Gordon Cormier as Aang, Kiawentiio as Katara, Ian Ousley as Sokka, Dallas Liu as Zuko, and Daniel Dae Kim as Fire Lord Ozai. Newly announced are Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Uncle Iroh, a retired Fire Nation general and nurturing mentor to his nephew, Prince Zuko; Lim Kay Siu as Gyatso, a kind and caring Air Nomad monk and father figure to Aang; and Ken Leung as Commander Zhao, a scheming and ambitious Fire Nation military officer who’s eager to leverage an unexpected encounter with a desperate Prince Zuko to advance his personal goals.
Filming for the Netflix series will take place in a new, custom-built facility using some of the same cutting-edge technology that was used for Netflix’s The Midnight Sky and 1899, and Disney’s The Mandalorian. The state of the art stage, designed and operated by Pixomondo (“PXO”) Virtual Production, is 84 feet across and 28 feet high with 23,000 square feet of stage space and more than 3000 LED Panels, making it one of the biggest virtual production volumes in North America.
“We’re thrilled to start production on this incredible project, and we’re especially excited to work with the technology-benders at PXO to create the wondrous world of Avatar: The Last Airbender using the most advanced techniques available to filmmakers anywhere in the world,” Albert Kim said.
Albert Kim seres as showrunner, executive producer, and writer for Avatar: The Last Airbender. Alongside Kim, Rideback’s Dan Lin and Linsey Liberatore also executive produce as well as Michael Goi. Goi, Roseanne Liang, Jabbar Raisani, and Jet Wilkinson direct. A release date hasn’t yet been set.
Topics: Avatar: The Last Airbender, Netflix