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“Avatar: The Last Airbender” Showrunner says Aang is Not Going to be a Gritty Antihero

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Avatar: The Last Airbender: has a premiere date.

The upcoming series, promising to be a faithful and authentic adaptation of the original Nickelodeon series, will bow on Netflix on February 22, 2024. The streamer announced the news today, as part of its annual Geeked Week celebrations, along with a new trailer and first look photos from the series.

The series introduces the four nations, who we are told 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. With the current incarnation of the Avatar yet to emerge, the world has lost hope.

But like a light in the darkness, hope springs forth when Aang, a young Air Nomad — and the last of his kind — reawakens to take his rightful place as the next Avatar. Alongside his newfound friends Sokka and Katara, siblings and members of the Southern Water Tribe, Aang embarks on a fantastical, action-packed quest to save the world and fight back against the fearsome onslaught of Fire Lord Ozai. But with a driven Crown Prince Zuko determined to capture them, it won’t be an easy task. They’ll need the help of the many allies and colorful characters they meet along the way.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Gordon Cormier stars as Aang, a fearless and fun-loving twelve-year-old who just happens to be the Avatar, master of all four elements and the keeper of balance and peace in the world. An airbending prodigy, Aang is a reluctant hero, struggling to deal with the burden of his duties while still holding on to his adventurous and playful nature.

Katara (Kiawentiio) meanwhile is a determined and hopeful waterbender, the last in her small village. Though only fourteen, she’s already endured great personal tragedy, which has held her back from rising to her true potential, though it’s never dimmed her warm and caring spirit.

Then there’s Sokka (Ian Ousley), Katara’s sardonic and resourceful 16-year-old brother. Outwardly confident, even brash, he takes his responsibility as the leader of his tribe seriously, despite his inner doubts over his warrior skills… doubts that he masks with his wit and deadpan sense of humor.

And last but not least there’s Zuko (Dallas Liu), a skilled firebender and the intense and guarded Crown Prince of the Fire Nation. Currently roaming the world in exile, he’s on an obsessive quest to capture the Avatar because he believes that is the only way to reclaim his life and live up to the demands of his cruel and controlling father, the Fire Lord.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is written by and executive produced by showrunner Albert Kim (Sleepy Hollow, Nikita), whose obsession with the series originated in the hours he spent watching it with his daughter 15 years ago.

“I knew what I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want to change things for the sake of change,” said Kim. “I didn’t want to modernize the story, or twist it to fit current trends. Aang is not going to be a gritty antihero. Katara is not going to get curtain bangs. (I was briefly tempted to give Sokka a TikTok account though. Think of the possibilities.)

“Don’t get me wrong. We’ll be expanding and growing the world, and there will be surprises for existing fans and those new to the tale. But throughout this process, our byword has been authenticity. To the story. To the characters. To the cultural influences. Authenticity is what keeps us going, both in front of the camera and behind it, which is why we’ve assembled a team unlike any seen before—a group of talented and passionate artists who are working around the clock to bring this rich and incredibly beautiful world to life.  

“But in the end, the reason I decided to do this came down to one thing: Somewhere out there, a young kid is sitting glued to their TV, waiting to be taken on an incredible journey. And I want to take them on it.”

Also executive producing are Dan Lin (The Lego Movie, Aladdin) and Lindsey Liberatore (Walker) for Rideback and Michael Goi (Swamp Thing, American Horror Story).

Follow The Bulldog Edition @TheBulldogEd on X for more TV and Film scoop this TV season.

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