Netflix’s ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Just Cast the Perfect Live-Action Fire Lord Ozai

There are some animated shows that have achieved pop-culture immortality, with thousands of viewers returning to binge-watch them, year after year. One of these shows is Avatar: The Last Airbender, a cult-classic show that first aired on Nickelodeon.

With a thrilling storyline that draws on mythological elements and characters that resonated deeply with viewers, the show became an instant hit—and to this day, fans return to the show in droves. Fans of the show have even more reason to celebrate these days, with a live-action remake of Avatar: The Last Airbender in the works. Recently, showrunners announced an exciting casting update, revealing that a popular television star has signed on to portray one of the show’s most iconic characters. 

When was the original ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ released?

Avatar: The Last Airbender premiered on Netflix in February 2005, changing the course of animated television forever. The show, which combines elements of anime with traditional American cartoons, ran for three seasons and told the story of a young man named Aang, the current Avatar and the last survivor of the Air Nomads. The series also follows Zuko, the exiled young prince of the Fire Nation, who seeks to restore the honor that he had lost.

Right away, Avatar: The Last Airbender received critical acclaim, with many praising the storyline, the animation, and the serious themes that ran through the series. The show went off the air in 2008, but it hasn’t lost any of its popularity with fans. In fact, Avatar: The Last Airbender has launched a merchandising empire that encompasses comics, a novel series, an animated sequel series, and a live-action feature film – and soon, fans will be able to enjoy the next installment in the saga, when a highly-anticipated live-action series hits Netflix. 

Netflix is releasing a live-action remake of ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’

'Avatar: The Last Airbender' with Aang, Katara, and Sokka
‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ with Aang, Katara, and Sokka | Courtesy Nickelodeon

In 2020, Netflix announced that a live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender would begin production sometime in 2021. Although not much is yet known about the series, What’s on Netflix reports that the original creators of the iconic series will not be involved in this newest version and that the first season is set to feature 10 one-hour episodes.

Additionally, the plot of the new series is said to mirror the original, with the same storyline – although showrunners noted that there will be plenty of surprises for new and existing fans of the franchise. Some cast members have already been announced, including Gordon Cormier as Aang, Kiawentiio Tarbell as Katara, and Dallas Liu as Zuko. In recent days, another big casting decision has been made, one that has pop culture fans deeply excited. 

Showrunners just cast Daniel Dae Kim as the live-action Fire Lord Ozai

In early November, ScreenRant reported that Daniel Dae Kim has been officially cast as Fire Lord Ozai in the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series for Netflix. Kim will be a series regular, and the casting of the Hawaii Five-o vet in the prime role has fans buzzing. Kim, who has made a name for himself playing heroic characters, will have the opportunity to flex his villainous muscles in the role of Ozai. 

This isn’t Kim’s first encounter with the Avatar universe, either. He actually voiced the character of General Fong in an episode of the original series and landed the recurring role of Hiroshi Sato in the sequel series The Legend of Korra. Still, the role of Ozai is bound to be his highest-profile work yet, and will certainly earn the popular actor even more fans. 

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