Hello my fellow Avatar Aang Gang members! I know it’s been a minute since we had any Avatar news, but I promise this isn’t a cactus juice hallucination. Netflix has casted the talented Daniel Dae Kim as the infamously evil Fire Lord Ozai in their live-action adaption of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Now I know when I reported last year that Avatar’s original co-creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko were stepping away from the Netflix project due to creative differences Avatar fans collectively sighed and did the mature thing… instantly put the Netflix adaptation out of our minds. Can you blame us? The first live-action adaptation didn’t actually go well and it’s a lot easier to say ‘There is no live-action movie’; I think Joo Dee was on to something.
However, this news stopped me in my tracks and now I’m intrigued once again. Daniel Dae Kim is a very accomplished and great actor starring in hits like Hawaii Five-O and Lost; not to mention he executively produces the hit ABC show The Good Doctor and even starred in it. Plus he’s no stranger to the Avatar universe; he previously voiced the character of General Fong in The Last Airbender animated series and Hiroshi Sato in The Legend of Korra. An actor who has an amazing catalog, who I’m a fan of and who’s familiar with Avatar? Netflix, you sly fox. Honestly, when envisioning an actor playing Fire Lord Ozai I’ve always pictured Hiroyuki Sanada or Daniel Dae Kim. Both actors are not only extremely talented, but have an air of regality about them even when playing questionable characters. Something that’s crucial when playing the ruthless leader of the Fire Nation hell bent on colonization.
Kim joins previously announced series stars Gordon Cormier, Kiawentiio, Ian Ousley, and Dallas Liu. Cormier will star as Aang, with Kiawentiio set to play Katara. Ousley will play Sokka and Liu will play Zuko. The live-action version of Avatar was first ordered at Netflix in September 2018; fans and skeptics alike are all curious to see what Netflix has to bring to this amazing universe. Will you be watching?