With Avatar: The Last Airbender hitting its 15th anniversary, fans have never been more excited for the Netflix live-action series. Here is everything we know about the highly anticipated remake.
The Last Airbender's final episode aired on Nickelodeon in 2008, cementing the animation as a cultural phenomena. Viewers from around the world connected with its story about a kid monk named Aang who can bend the elements of Earth, Water, Air, and Fire.
However 15 years later, Netflix looks to bring the beloved series back to life in the form of a live-action drama. When is it finally coming out? Who has been cast? Here is everything that is currently known about the much-hyped revival.
Netflix announce a Live-Action series of Avatar
In September 2018, streaming giant Netflix announced that they are making a live-action version of the animated series. In a joint statement, Avatar creators Bryan Konietzko & Michael DiMartino revealed they would be working on the project and returning as showrunners.
“We’re thrilled for the opportunity to helm this live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender. We can’t wait to realize Aang’s world as cinematically as we always imagined it to be, and with a culturally appropriate, non-whitewashed cast," it read. "It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build upon everyone’s great work on the original animated series and go even deeper into the characters, story, action, and world-building. Netflix is wholly dedicated to manifesting our vision for this retelling, and we’re incredibly grateful to be partnering with them."
On his blog, Konietzko stated that he was excited to be working with his partner DiMartino again on a "simultaneously new and old adventure."
Who will be cast in the new series?
So far, things have been tight-lipped on the project, and there has been no official announcements on actors. Although at the beginning of January 2019, showrunner Konietzko stated on his blog that casting had not happened yet. "We are not yet at that stage in the production. There will be an OPEN CASTING CALL, likely sometime later this year," the post read.
Speculation began to build over whether original cast members of the animation would make a cameo in the Netflix show. In May 2019, Toph's voice actor Jessie Flower met with the creators and they stated, "She had some great insights on being a child actor that will surely benefit our future cast."
In a February 2020 interview with ComicBook, Zuko's voice actor Dante Basco said "We'll see, we'll see" when asked if he would be joining the cast, so it's up in the air if we can expect any of the old casting to return – even in small parts.
When will the Netflix series be coming out?
Netflix has not yet given a release date for the series, although in a 2019 podcast with Toph's voice actor Jessie Flowers, she stated that she believed production would start in early 2020, and Book 1 would be filmed in Canada.
Fans of the series went wild when Netflix uploaded a slot for the live-action Avatar on their platform with a date of 2020, as it's usually a sign that a trailer is dropping soon. Although, the streaming giant ended up removing the year from the listing completely.
In September 2019, a visual effects artist claimed to have worked on the live-action show, and posted photos of the set tests on Reddit. However, it was quickly removed at request of the studio. Based on where they are at in production, it's probably safe to assume it will be a 2021 release at this point.
What initially seemed like just another kid's show, Avatar quickly proved to be a riveting epic with mature themes and incredible characters. The series' legacy has only grown since with successful graphic novels and sequel spin-off The Legend of Korra which aired in 2013.
The groundbreaking animation has spawned millions of fans around the world who are eager to see their favorite story brought to life. Especially after the disaster that was the 2010 M. Night Shyamalan-directed film.
Last Airbender fans have a lot to be excited for, especially since Netflix has proven that it's capable of bringing these kinds of properties to the big screen with the success of the 2020 Witcher series.