Avatar Spar’s Ozai and Aang Stars in Epic BTS Photo
A new photo showing Gordon Cormier and Daniel Dae Kim working out has given fans an exciting behind-the-scenes look at Netflix’s upcoming live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series.
This preview, shared by Cormier and Kim on their social media, provides insight into the epic showdown between the story’s titular hero Avatar Aang, played by Cormier, and Kim’s big bad Fire Lord Ozai. As Cormier and Kim wear modern workout gear in the photo, they strike poses that capture the essence of their respective characters’ martial arts styles and invoke iconic imagery from the original animated series. “Deadly enemies on camera, practice buddies,” Kim wrote. “Happy to train with you anytime, Gordon!”
The photo also offers a glimpse of the different styles of martial arts that will be represented in the live-action series. In the original version Avatar: The Last Airbendereach of the four nations’ mastery was based on an actual martial art, with waterbending similar to tai chi, earthbending reminiscent of Hung Ga kung fu, firebending based on Shaolin kung fu of the North and a mastery of the air inspired by the baguazhang.
Kim, known for his roles in Hawaii Five-O, Lost and the Divergent movies, was cast as Fire Lord Ozai in November 2021. Since being officially cast, the actor has repeatedly expressed his excitement for the upcoming role, but recently explained that he consulted his friend’s children before agreeing to join the series.
“When it came time to decide whether to do the live-action series, I called all of my friends’ kids and my nieces and nephews and asked if they thought I should do it. Even before I ask the question, they were like, ‘Yeah!'” Kim said. “I was like, but wait a minute, before you answer, just know that I’m playing a bad guy. And they were like, ‘Ozai?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ ‘Do it!’ So there was no hesitation. So it was easy for me to say yes, and you know, to make my nieces and nephews and my kids happy.
Avatar: The Last Airbender first aired on Nickelodeon between 2005 and 2008. Created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the original show garnered praise for its deep and dynamic characters, smooth animation based on real martial arts forms, the depiction of Asian cultures and history that could be truly enjoyed and enjoyed by all ages.
DiMartino and Konietzko originally signed on to direct the new series, but announced they had left the project in August 2020, citing creative differences with Netflix. “Whatever version ends up on screen, it’s not going to be what Bryan and I envisioned or planned to do,” DiMartino said at the time. Albert Kim then took over as showrunner and was quick to promise that no unnecessary changes would be made to the new adaptation.
Katara and Sokka, two Inuit-inspired water tribe siblings, played by Kiawentiio Tarbell and Ian Ousley respectively, will join Aang in his quest to bring balance to the world and stop the imperial and expansionist Ozai. The new series will also star Dallas Liu and Elizabeth Yu as Ozai’s children, Zuko and Azula, and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Iroh, Ozai’s kind-hearted brother.
Although the live adaptation does not have an exit window, Avatar: The Last Airbender is currently streaming on Netflix.
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