Is Netflix's Upcoming 'Avatar: The Last Airbender's' Representation Accurate?
Netflix recently revealed the first cast members for the upcoming series "Avatar: The Last Airbender" live-action reboot and fans of the animated show are excited about how the young stars will portray the characters.
Moreover, fans also want to know whether the long-awaited series is accurate regarding the characters' ethnicity and age.
According to an article published by Baron News, the show takes inspiration from various cultures, especially from Asians and Indigenous nations.
The main protagonist, Aang, will be portrayed by an 11-year-old Filipino-Canadian actor named Gordon Cormier. In the animated series produced by Nickelodeon, Aang is believed to be 112 years old and was trapped in an iceberg. However, he's biologically 12 years old.
The article suggests that Aang's inspiration is drawn from Buddhists in Tibet. Shaolin Monks and Sri Lankan Buddhism are also apparent went it comes to clothing and style.
Kiawentiio is set to play the role of Katara. Per Screen Rant, the singer's age is 15, making her the perfect actress for the character. Kiawentiio hails from the Mohawk Nation territory of Akwesasne, Canada.
Katara's brother, Sokka, will be played by Ian Ousley. The teen actor, previously known for his role in Netflix's "13 Reasons Why," is 19 years old and part of the Cherokee tribe. The actor also studied various martial arts in the past.
Lastly, Dallas Liu will play Fire Nation's, Prince Zuko. Liu is a Chinese-Indonesian actor who's turning 20 years old later this month. Zuko is believed to be 16 years old in the animated series.
Albert Kim Explains The Importance of Representation
According to Deadline, Albert Kim, the show's showrunner, previously discussed the importance of authenticity and representation, leading them to cast actors who have Asian and Indigenous backgrounds.
"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." Kim wrote in a blog post. (via the outlet mentioned above)
Aside from Kim, other production members include Dan Lin and Lindsey Liberatore (executive producers and writers), Michael Goi (executive producer), Roseanne Liang (co-executive producer and director), and Jabbar Raisani (director).
At the time of this writing, no further information regarding the release date was mentioned in the reports.