Netflix's "Avatar: The Last Airbender" Series Reveals Who Will Play Aang

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When Netflix announced a new live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender in 2018, fans of the beloved animated series were cautiously optimistic. After all, the last time Hollywood tried to adapt the mythical coming-of-age tale it didn't go so well. But with the streamer's commitment to telling Aang's story with a "culturally appropriate, non-whitewashed cast," most of the concerns have been quelled.

Now, nearly three years after its announcement, Avatar: The Last Airbender has found its young leads — and we're officially excited for this reboot.

Stepping into the role of Aang, the reluctant hero at the center of the series, is 11-year-old Gordon Cormier. Don't be fooled by his age; Gordon already has a few major credits to his name, including Netflix's Lost In Space and the TV adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand. Aang is the latest incarnation of the Avatar, a person with a deep connection to the Spirit World tasked with bringing harmony to the Four Nations. In order to do so, the Airbender has to master the four elements (Water, Earth, Fire, and Air) and learn to wield them for good.

It's a big responsibility for a preteen — something Gordon might be able to relate to now that he's the face of a Netflix show — but luckily Aang has his friends (and Waterbenders) Katara and Sokka by his side. Loud, lovable Sokka will be played by actor Ian Ousley, and Kiawentiio will take on the role of Sokka's determined little sister Katara. You probably recognize Ian from 13 Reasons Why, but did you know he's actually trained in Taekwondo? Meanwhile, Mohawk actor Kiawentiio likes to write music when she's not busy taking over the entertainment industry with performances in Netflix's Anne with an E and Marvel's What If…?

Rounding out the cast is Dallas Liu, a star in the making. Dallas is already having a breakthrough year with a part in Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and landing the role of fan-favorite character Zuko will surely add a bit more fire to the flame. Zuko, the highly skilled Crown Prince of the imperialist Fire Nation, is Aang's main antagonist in the beginning of the series, but like all good villains, Zuko's motivations are complex. Dallas's most recent Instagram post as of publish time is a simple black and white self-portrait with the caption "trouble," so we think he's more than up to the task of humanizing this moody Firebender.

While series creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko stepped away from the project last year, citing creative differences with Netflix, new showrunner Albert Kim says he has a clear vision for his reimagined take on the mystical world of elemental bending and teenage emotions. There's still a lot we don't know about this live-action adaptation, but as Albert writes in a blog post for Netflix, this version of Avatar is 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."

And that's something always worth celebrating.

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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue