A big part of Netflix’s output at the moment is producing lavish, live-action takes on beloved animated series – with somewhat mixed results so far. The Cowboy Bebop series was swiftly cancelled after a single season, while this summer’s One Piece proved more successful. And next up comes a biggie: beloved Nickelodeon fantasy series Avatar: The Last Airbender (not to be confused with James Cameron’s Avatar saga). The tale of Aang, in a world where powered-up individuals have the ability to ‘bend’ elements like air, fire, water, and earth, was told across 61 episodes through the mid-2000s – and now it’s getting a live-action series adaptation from showrunner Albert Kim, with Gordon Cormier as Aang. Watch the trailer here:
Hopes are high that this series will fare better than M Night Shyamalan’s much-maligned live-action 2010 movie adaptation The Last Airbender – and by this evidence, they’ve captured some of its mystical majesty and grand scope. Among the cast you’ll find Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (aka Carson Teva in the Mando-verse) as General Iroh, Lost alumni Daniel Dae Kim and Ken Leung as Fire Lord Ozai and Commander Zhao, and Prey’s Amber Midthunder as Princess Yue.
Here’s the official synopsis: “Always remember who you are… The four nations of the world once lived in harmony, with the Avatar, master of all four elements, keeping peace between them. 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. Avatar: The Last Airbender, follows a young Air Nomad named Aang, as he reawakens to a world ravaged by war. Together with his newfound friends Sokka and Katara, he embarks on an action-packed quest to take his rightful place as the next Avatar.”
It’s a promising first teaser – and fans will see much more when the show comes to Netflix on 22 February 2024. Here’s hoping it’s the start of something big, and not another one-season wonder.