Netflix's live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender has cast some familiar faces in the roles of Gyatso, Commander Zhao and Uncle Iroh.
Netflix announced that principle photography has begun on its upcoming live-action reboot of Nickelodeon's classic martial-arts fantasy. The streaming company also revealed more of the cast for the new show, revealing that actor Lim Kay Siu, who previously appeared in Anna and the King and Nightwatch, will play Gyatso, the Air Nomad monk who serves as the Avatar Aang's original guardian and father figure. Ken Leung, who sci-fi fans may recognize from his roles in Lost and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will play Commander Zhao, a Fire Nation commander who is willing to do anything to improve his standing within the imperialist power's hierarchy. Leung will be joined in the Fire Nation by fellow Star Wars alum Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, who previously starred in Kim's Convenience and The Mandalorian. Lee will portray Uncle Iroh, a mentor to the conflicted Prince Zuko.
Siu, Leung and Lee are the latest additions to the live-action Airbender cast. Netflix previously confirmed that Gordon Cormier will play the role of Aang, the world's reluctant young savior, while Kiwentiio will play the role of Katara, a water bending girl who releases Aang from his frozen prison. Ian Ousley will play Sokka, Kitara's goofy brother, while Dallas Liu will portray Prince Zuko, the heir to the throne of the Fire Nation who eventually begins to question his country's actions. Lost and The Good Doctor's Daniel Dae Kim will portray Fire Lord Ozai, Zuko's father and the primary antagonist of the series. Kim previously voiced the character of General Fong in the original series.
Avatar: The Last Airbender was created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and originally premiered on Nickelodeon in 2005. The series ran for three seasons and is one of the most critically acclaimed animated series of all time, being awarded with multiple Annie Awards, a Peabody Award and a Primetime Emmy. The series spawned a series of tie-in novels, an on-going comic book series, and a sequel TV show, The Legend of Korra. Netflix's new show will the franchise's second attempt at a live-action adaptation: in 2010, a movie entitled The Last Airbender was produced by Paramount Pictures and directed by The Sixth Sense and Old's M. Night Shyamalan. The movie was criticized for casting primarily white actors, despite the series' heavily Asian-influenced setting. Sequels were originally planned for the film, but those plans were canceled after the movie underperformed at the box office.