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Daniel Dae Kim Joins ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Cast

Daniel Dae Kim joins the Avatar universe for the third time. Netflix's 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' adaptation is shaping up to be a great show.
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Updated on 11/17/21

Daniel Dae Kim announced that he is joining the Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action adaptation as Fire Lord Ozai.

Kim’s Third Foray into the Avatar Franchise

Ozai is the third character Kim will play in the Avatar universe. In 2006, he voiced General Fong in Avatar: The Last Airbender and reprised that role for the 2007 video game. He also voiced Hiroshi Sato in Avatar: The Legend of Korra.

Kim is also starring in the upcoming show The Hot Zone: Anthrax and animated series Pantheon. He was in LostHawaii Five-ONew Amsterdam, and The Good Doctor; Kim also voice acted in Disney’s recent movie, Raya and the Last Dragon.

Originally written 11/4/21

The Main Characters Have Already Been Cast

Aang, the 12-year-old protagonist, is played by Gordon Cormier. Aang is the last airbender in the world, as well as the Avatar. Cormier is best known for his roles in Gabby Duran and the UnsittablesLost in Space, and Turner and Hooch.

Kiawentiio, best known for her role in Beans, will play Katara, Aang’s friend, and the last waterbender in her village. Sokka, Katara’s older brother, will be played by Ian Ousley from 13 Reasons Why and Physical. Katara and Sokka are the two who discover Aang in the iceberg and accompany him around the world.

Aang in Avatar The Last Airbender
Nickelodeon Animation Studios | ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks

Prince Zuko, Ozai’s son and the Crown Prince of the Fire Nation will be played by Dallas Liu. Liu is known for his roles in No Good Nick, PEN15, and Legendary Dudas. Zuko is hunting down the Avatar throughout the first two seasons before turning against the Fire Nation in the final season.

Casting for the show was essential to the producers, making sure to stay true to the source material. They wanted Asian and Indigenous actors because the show’s lore is based on those cultures.

“A live-action version would establish a new benchmark in representation and bring in a whole new generation of fans,” showrunner Albert 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.”

On November 16, the casting of Uncle Iroh, Gyatso, and Commander Zhao. Paul Sun-Hyung Lee will portray the wise Iroh, Zuko’s uncle accompanying him on the hunt for Aang. Gyatso is brought to life by Lim Kay Siu from Anna and the King. Ken Leung will portray Commander Zhao, a Fire Nation military leader who comes across Zuko and the Avatar many times in the first season.

The casting of Azula, Toph, and other significant characters has not been announced yet. Azula is the Crown Princess of the Fire Nation and Zuko’s younger sister, who is also hunting the Avatar. Toph, introduced in the second season, helps Aang master earthbending.

‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Is Sticking to Its Source Material

Netflix's Avatar The Last Airbender promo
Netflix

The Netflix adaptation will follow the same storyline as the animated show. Aang and his friends will go through the nations on their journey to help Aang master all four elements and defeat Fire Lord Ozai and end the war.

Showrunner Albert Kim is also an executive producer and writer for Netflix’s show. Kim has also worked on Sleepy Hollow and Nikita.

Dan Lin, Lindsey Liberatore, Michael Goi, Roseanne Liang are also executive producers. Goi, Liang, Jabbar Raisani, and Jet Wilkinson will be directing the series.

Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, creators of the original show, were initially involved in the adaptation. They exited the project in August 2020 and have since started working on other projects in the Avatar universe.