Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender Is Aiming for Authenticity, Says Showrunner

It has been some time since fans got an update on Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender, but that all changed today. After a long wait, fans were told about the show's leads as well as its executive crew behind the scenes. It was there we learned Albert Kim will be overseeing the project as its writer and showrunner. And now, Kim has some words to share with fans who are feeling apprehensive about the series.

Earlier today, Netflix confirmed the leads for its Avatar: The Last Airbender adaptation, and diversity shines through the cast. Gordon Cormier has been cast as Aang while Kiawentiio brings Katara to life. Ian Ousley has been tapped as Sokkaa while Dallas Liu wraps the cast as Prince Zuko. As we mentioned, Kim has been asked to oversee the adaptation's vision, and he says a need for authenticity has driven the series.

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(Photo: Netflix)

First, the writer said his daughter got him hooked on Avatar: The Last Airbender during its original run on Nickelodeon. It was there he realized how complex the animated series was, and he was dumbstruck when Netflix approached him about its live-action plans.

"Flash forward 15 years. Netflix offers me the opportunity to develop a live-action remake of Avatar. My first thought was, "Why? What is there I could do or say with the story that wasn't done or said in the original?" A:TLA had only grown in popularity and acclaim over the last decade and a half, which is a testament to how complete and resonant a narrative experience it had been. So if it ain't broke, why fix it," Kim wrote.

But as Kim thought on the series, he realized there were important things to discover in a live-action adaptation. For one, the writer says, "a live-action version would establish a new benchmark in representation and bring in a whole new generation of fans. This was a chance to showcase Asian and Indigenous characters as living, breathing people." And of course, Kim wants nothing more than to respect the story's source material.

"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," the writer shared.

At this point, little is known about when Avatar: The Last Airbender will get a release, but its recent casting marks a big step for the franchise. Now, it falls to Kim to bring his vision to life, and netizens hope this project is more successful than its last adaptation.

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What do you make of Kim's message? Do you have faith in this adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.