Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender saw Aang and the rest of Team Avatar travel the world so he could master all four elements from different bending masters. For all they went through, there was always a looming threat overhead in the form of Sozin’s Comet, a celestial phenomenon which served as a massive power boost for firebenders. Whenever the show drew attention to the comet, it made you feel how much Team Avatar wanted to be ready by the time of its arrival.
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But that urgency won’t be entirely felt in the upcoming live-action series for Netflix. Talking to Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Albert Kim explained that the Comet’s been removed as a stake-raiser, at least for now. The cartoon took place over the course of about a year, but the adaptation started filming in 2022, which is a problem for a show headlined by young actors. Kids grow fast—EW acknowledged how Aang and Katara’s respective actors, Gordon Cormier and Kiawentiio, started filming in their early teens and are now 14 and 17. By Kim’s admission, the team “couldn’t know exactly how old our actors would be for the subsequent seasons.”
Should Avatar get renewed, Kim hopes they’ll be able to better account for “puberty, adolescence, time passing — all of those fun things that happen to real-life human beings that don’t happen to animated characters.” But right now, he’s focused on working with the behind the scenes team to ensure season one is ready for prime time in a few weeks. He was frank in calling it a “race to the finish line,” and said there’s “still a lot of work to be done. […] I don’t want to think about tomorrow yet.”
Avatar: The Last Airbender comes to Netflix on February 22.
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