Animated ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ goes into live action

Daniel Dae Kim is joining the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” live-action series at Netflix, Variety has confirmed.

He will appear in the role of Fire Lord Ozai. The character is described as the ruthlessly-driven leader of the Fire Nation who demands everyone live up to his impossible standards, especially his teen son, Prince Zuko. Ozai’s drive to conquer and unite the world under firebender rule is a family burden — he believes that it’s his destiny to finish a war started by his ancestors. The character was voiced by Mark Hamill in the animated series.

Kim joins previously announced series stars Gordon Cormier, Kiawentiio, Ian Ousley, and Dallas Liu. Cormier will star as Aang, with Kiawentiio set to play Katara. Ousley will play Sokka and Liu will play Zuko.

Original series creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko were originally attached to create the series for Netflix, but they announced in August 2020 that they were no longer involved. They have since announced a new deal with Nickelodeon to establish Avatar Studios, which will create new animated series and films set within the “Avatar” universe.

The live-action version of “Last Airbender” was first ordered at Netflix in September 2018. The animated version aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon from February 2005 to July 2008. The series received substantial acclaim during its run, picking up multiple Annie Awards, Genesis Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a Peabody Award. The sequel series, “Legend of Korra,” aired for four seasons from 2012-2014.

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