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Netflix casts Daniel Dae Kim in ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’

By Christian Imperio Published Nov 04, 2021 1:04 pm

Daniel Dae Kim has reportedly been cast in Netflix's upcoming live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

This news comes by way of Variety, which reported that Kim will star as Fire Lord Ozai, which is described as the "ruthlessly driven leader of the Fire Nation who demands everyone live up to his impossible standards, especially his teen son Prince Zuko."

In the animated series, Ozai believes that it’s his destiny to finish a war started by his ancestors. However, his drive to conquer and unite the world under firebender rule becomes a family burden.

Kim, most notably known for portraying the role of Jin Kwon on Lost, will join previously announced cast including Gordon Cormier, Kiawentiio, Ian Ousley, and Dallas Liu.

Cormier will star as Aang alongside Kiawentiio, who is set to play Katara. Ousley and Liu, meanwhile, will play the roles of Sokka and Zuko, respectively.

Aside from Lost, Kim's acting credits include Hawaii Five-O, The Divergent series, Hellboy, and more recently, Netflix's sci-fi film Stowaway and The Good Doctor. Kim also lent his voice to General Fong in The Last Airbender animated series and Hiroshi Sato in The Legend of Korra.

First announced three years ago, the live-action adaption of the popular cartoon series encountered some production problems in 2020 after Avatar creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko decided to walk away from the project upon realizing that they couldn’t control the “creative direction” of the series.

Despite their departure, DiMartino and Konietzko will still be working on the world of Avatar after they both joined Nickelodeon's Avatar Studios as co-chief creative officers. The network announced last February that the newly formed division will create anime programs and movies based on the beloved series.

Series executive producer and writer Albert Kim (Sleepy Hollow, Nikita) previously explained his vision for the upcoming live-action adaptation, saying that the project "would establish a new benchmark in representation and bring in a whole new generation of fans," Kim said. "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."

Avatar: The Last Airbender first debuted on Nickelodeon in 2005 and aired until 2008 for a total of three seasons. The series follows the story of Aang, the last airbender and his quest to master the elements of water, earth, fire, and air.

All three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender are now streaming on Netflix.