Netflix's live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series begins production, casts Uncle Iroh and other roles
A new day is dawning in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Netflix announced on Tuesday that production had officially begun on the streaming platform's live-action TV adaptation of the beloved animated series, which became a pandemic hit when it returned to the Netflix library last spring. Filming for the new show will take place in Vancouver in a new, custom-built facility that uses some of the same cutting-edge technology as Disney+'s The Mandalorian and Netflix's own The Midnight Sky.
Designed and operated by Pixomondo (PXO) Virtual Production, the 23,000 square feet of stage space and more than 3,000 LED Panels will allow visual effects to be done in real time in camera and combine multiple environments on a single stage. A lot of effects are certainly needed for a show about characters who can bend the elements of water, earth, fire, and air to their will.
"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," showrunner Albert Kim said in a statement.
Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the creators of the original Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series and its sequel The Legend of Korra, dropped out of the live-action series in 2020, citing a lack of control over the creative direction of the remake. They have since set up a new Avatar Studios at ViacomCBS to make new animated projects set in the world of A:TLA and Korra for Paramount+ and Nickelodeon.
In addition to announcing the start of production, Netflix also unveiled new castings for their version of A:TLA. Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (Kim's Convenience, The Mandalorian) will play the fan-favorite Uncle Iroh, a retired Fire Nation general who has tired of his empire's bloody conquest and now serves as the wise, nurturing mentor to his hot-headed nephew, Prince Zuko. Lim Kay Siu (Anna and The King) will play Gyatso, a kind and caring Air Nomad monk who's a similar mentor and father figure to the young airbending Avatar, Aang.
Ken Leung (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will play 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.
They join the previously-announced cast of Gordon Cormier as Aang, Kiawentiio as Katara, Ian Ousley as Sokka, Dallas Liu as Zuko and Daniel Dae Kim as Fire Lord Ozai.
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