“Avatar: The Last Airbender” Adds Five New Cast Members





“Avatar: The Last Airbender” Adds Five New Cast Members
Elizabeth Yu, Maria Zhang, Tamlyn Tomita, Yvonne Chapman and Casey Camp-Horinek are all bound for the live-action series.
[via press release from Netflix]
“AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER” ADDS FIVE NEW CAST MEMBERS

ELIZABETH YU, MARIA ZHANG, TAMLYN TOMITA, YVONNE CHAPMAN AND CASEY CAMP-HORINEK TO JOIN LIVE-ACTION SERIES

· Today Netflix announced additional casting for its live-action epic adventure Avatar: The Last Airbender based on the beloved animated series from Nickelodeon. The series is currently shooting in Vancouver.

· Details on the new cast and the characters they will play:

· Elizabeth Yu (she/her; Untitled Ray Romano Film, All My Love) will play Azula, the intensely driven princess of the Fire Nation. A firebending prodigy and relentless perfectionist, she’ll stop at nothing to secure her position as the heir to the throne.

· Maria Zhang (she/her) will play Suki, the intimidating leader of the Kyoshi Warriors, an elite female fighting force dedicated to protecting their community and upholding the ideals of their namesake, Avatar Kyoshi.

· Tamlyn Tomita (she/her; The Good Doctor, Cobra Kai) will play Yukari, Suki’s mother and the fiercely protective mayor of her small village on Kyoshi Island.

· Yvonne Chapman (she/her; Kung Fu, Family Law) will play Avatar Kyoshi, a legendary warrior revered for her bravery, fearsome fighting skills, and uncompromising dedication to the cause of justice.

· Casey Camp-Horinek (she/her, Barking Water, Reservation Dogs) will play Gran Gran, Katara and Sokka’s grandmother and the compassionate and wise matriarch of the Southern Water Tribe.

About Avatar: The Last Airbender

The series will be an authentic adaptation of the award-winning and beloved Nickelodeon animated series AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER reimagined as a live-action adventure. Albert Kim (Sleepy Hollow, Nikita) serves as showrunner, executive producer, and writer. Alongside Kim, Rideback’s Dan Lin (The Lego Movie, Aladdin) and Lindsey Liberatore (Walker) serve as executive producers as well as Michael Goi (Swamp Thing, American Horror Story). Goi, Roseanne Liang (also a co-executive producer), Jabbar Raisani and Jet Wilkinson direct.



Netflix’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” Announces Start of Production and New Cast





Netflix’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” Announces Start of Production and New Cast
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Lim Kay Siu and Ken Leung are among the latest additions to the ensemble.
[via press release from Netflix]
“AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER” COMMENCES PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY

LIVE-ACTION SERIES ROUNDS OUT CAST WITH PAUL SUN-HYUNG LEE, LIM KAY SIU AND KEN LEUNG

NETFLIX AND PIXOMONDO PARTNER FOR ONE OF THE LARGEST VIRTUAL PRODUCTIONS IN NORTH AMERICA

· Today Netflix announced that production began in Vancouver on the live-action epic adventure Avatar: The Last Airbender based on the beloved animated series from Nickelodeon.

· Further casting for the series was confirmed:

· Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (he/him; Kim’s Convenience, The Mandalorian) will play Uncle Iroh, a retired Fire Nation general and the wise and nurturing mentor to his hot-headed nephew, Prince Zuko.

· Lim Kay Siu (he/him; Anna and The King, Nightwatch) will play Gyatso, a kind and caring Air Nomad monk who is the guardian, father figure and best friend to Aang.

· Ken Leung (he/him; Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Industry) will play Commander Zhao, a scheming and ambitious Fire Nation military officer who’s eager to leverage an unexpected encounter with a desperate Prince Zuko to advance his personal goals.

· The new cast joins previously announced Gordon Cormier as Aang, Kiawentiio as Katara, Ian Ousley as Sokka, Dallas Liu as Zuko and Daniel Dae Kim as Fire Lord Ozai.

· Filming for the series will take place in a new, custom-built facility using some of the same cutting-edge technology that was used for Netflix’s The Midnight Sky and 1899, and Disney’s The Mandalorian. The state of the art stage, designed and operated by Pixomondo (“PXO”) Virtual Production, is 84 feet across and 28 feet high with 23,000 square feet of stage space and more than 3000 LED Panels, making it one of the biggest virtual production volumes in North America.

· The virtual production stage which allows for visual effects to be done in real time in camera, combining multiple environments on a single stage, will set a new standard for immersive storytelling.

· Albert Kim, Showrunner, Executive Producer, Writer: “We’re thrilled to start production on this incredible project, and we’re especially excited to work with the technology-benders at PXO to create the wondrous world of Avatar: The Last Airbender using the most advanced techniques available to filmmakers anywhere in the world.”

About Avatar: The Last Airbender

The series will be an authentic adaptation of the award-winning and beloved Nickelodeon animated series AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER reimagined as a live-action adventure. Albert Kim (Sleepy Hollow, Nikita) serves as showrunner, executive producer, and writer. Alongside Kim, Rideback’s Dan Lin (The Lego Movie, Aladdin) and Lindsey Liberatore (Walker) serve as executive producers as well as Michael Goi (Swamp Thing, American Horror Story). Goi, Roseanne Liang (also a co-executive producer), Jabbar Raisani and Jet Wilkinson direct. More info about the series is HERE.

About Pixomondo

Pixomondo is an award-winning visual effects studio with offices in North America and Europe. Pixomondo won an Academy Award for its VFX work on Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and several Emmys for Game of Thrones. The company is Emmy nominated for its VFX work on Westworld, Star Trek: Discovery and The Orville. Recent and current work includes Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse starring Michael B. Jordan, David Oyelowo’s family adventure film The Water Man, the action pic Greenland starring Gerard Butler and the next Roland Emmerich feature, Moonfall.



Upcoming DVD Releases





COMING ON 10/5:
* Tex Avery: Screwball Classics – Volume 3 (Warner Archives)
$19.99 SRP DVD MOD; $21.99 SRP Blu-ray MOD

EXTRAS: a pre-MGM cartoon short from Avery’s time with Warner Bros, THE CRACKPOT QUAIL, with its original 1941 soundtrack
—–Shorts: BLITZ WOLF, THE EARLY BIRD DOOD IT, ONE HAM’S FAMILY, HAPPY GO NUTTY, JERKY TURKEY, THE SHOOTING OF DAN McGOO, SWING SHIFT CINDERELLA, WILD AND WOLFY, NORTHWEST HOUNDED POLICE, SLAP HAPPY LION, KING SIZE CANARY, WHAT PRICE FLEADOM, LITTLE TINKER, SENOR DROOPY, COCK-A-DOODLE DOG, ROCK-A-BYE BEAR, LITTLE JOHNNY JET, BILLY BOY, DEPUTY DROOPY, and CELLBOUND.
NOTE: our thanks to our friend, Jerry Beck, for this information courtesy of his Cartoon Research website
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COMING ON 10/26:
* New Amsterdam – Season 3 (Universal)
$34.98 SRP DVD MOD

—–Maverick medical director Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) and his inspiring team of doctors and nurses are back for the timely third season of the emotional and heart-pounding medical drama, “New Amsterdam.” This season, Max and his team’s devotion to fixing the broken health care system is put to the test amidst the unique and overwhelming challenges of a global pandemic. But no matter what obstacles they face, together these selfless medical heroes remain hopeful and committed to revolutionizing health care, one patient at a time. Also starring Freema Agyeman, Janet Montgomery, Jocko Sims, and Tyler Labine. 3-disc set.

* Good Witch – Season 7 (Hallmark)
$19.99 SRP DVD MOD

—–The velvet pouches of soil discovered by Cassie, Abigail, and Joy mark the start of a new Merriwick mystery, one that leads them to reflect on their pasts. With the usual Middleton fun, new relationships, personal challenges and romance are in store. Actors: Catherine Bell; James Denton; Rhys Matthew Bond; Sarah Power; Catherine Disher. 2-disc set.
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COMING ON 11/9:
* Muhammad Ali – A Film by Ken Burns (PBS)
$69.99 SRP DVD; $79.99 SRP Blu-ray

—–Muhammad Ali brings to life one of the best-known and most indelible figures of the 20th century, a three-time heavyweight boxing champion who captivated millions of fans throughout the world with his mesmerizing combination of speed, grace, and power in the ring, and charm and playful boasting outside of it. Born Cassius Clay, Jr., Ali rose from boxing amateur to Olympic gold medalist and heavyweight champion, just as he had promised he would at the age of twelve. He wrote his own rules – in the ring and in his life – infuriating his critics, baffling his opponents, and riveting millions of fans. He spoke his mind and stood on principle, staying true to his Islamic faith and refusing induction into the U.S. Army…even when it cost him his livelihood. Banished for his beliefs, he returned to boxing an underdog, reclaimed his title twice, and became the most famous man on earth. An intimate portrait of a larger-than-life global icon, this four-part, eight-hour documentary tells the story of an exceptional athlete whose influence transcends boxing. “He was,” the novelist Norman Mailer wrote, “the very spirit of the 20th Century.” 4-disc set in either format.
NOTE: this is the general retail release of this title; the PBS shop will begin selling it directly to customers on Oct. 19th (delayed from 9/28): https://shop.pbs.org/WD5942.html
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COMING ON 11/30:
* I Dream of Jeannie – The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
$44.98 SRP DVD; $85.99 SRP Blu-ray

—–Your Wish is Our Command! All 139 episodes filled with hilarious blinks! With the blink of her eyes and a nod of her head, Barbara Eden will make your wishes come true in I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete Series. Enjoy all 139 episodes in their original broadcast presentation – including the first season in black & white – on this 12-disc collection that re-introduces Larry Hagman as Captain Anthony Tony Nelson, an astronaut who finds himself Master to a beautiful and crafty genie (Eden) whom he unknowingly releases from a bottle. Together, he and Jeannie are a magical match. Packed with some of television’s brightest guest stars, I Dream Of Jeannie is the beloved must-own comedy series that will have you dreaming of TV’s Golden Age.
NOTE: this first-ever Blu-ray Disc edition of the title was originally scheduled for release in June, then July, then August, but now Mill Creek seems confident in being able to deliver it on their new release date of November 30th; on the same date they will release a 12-disc set on DVD format as well…this title was released as a 20-disc set by Sony in limited edition packaging back in 2008, then in unlimited packaging in 2013, but this is Mill Creek’s first DVD “complete series” set, which Amazon is taking pre-orders for as of this writing at a price point under $20!
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COMING ON 12/7:
* Avatar: The Last Airbender AND The Legend Of Korra – The Ultimate Aang & Korra Blu-ray Collection (Nickelodeon/ViacomCBS)
$97.99 SRP Blu-ray

EXTRAS: features over an hour of all-new and exclusive bonus features, including an Auditory Exploration with the Avatarverse Creators, a conversation with Janet Varney and Dante Bosco, hosts of the Avatar: Braving the Elements podcast, and 8 collectible art cards in special packaging!
—–The ultimate Aang and Korra Blu-ray collection. Experience the complete Avatar saga, from the discovery of Avatar Aang in the iceberg in Avatar: The Last Airbender to Korra’s heroic journey to set things right in Republic City through The Legend of Korra. Relive all the epic air-, earth-, water-, and firebending in the ultimate Avatar Collection! 18-disc set.



Bringing ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ into the Live-Action Realm for Fans Old and New





Bringing ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ into the Live-Action Realm for Fans Old and New

Showrunner, Executive Producer and Writer of ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’

This is all my daughter’s fault. She’s the one who got me hooked.

When Avatar: The Last Airbender first aired on Nickelodeon, she wasn’t quite old enough to fully track the narrative. Yet I’d still find her glued to the TV every week, captivated by the adventures of Aang and his friends (who would quickly become her friends).

I began watching along with her with the thought of helping her understand what was going on. But my Dad-splainy duties quickly fell by the wayside as I found myself sucked into the world and characters, and soon we were watching side by side, both of us swept away by the singular mix of action, humor, and epic storytelling.

It also wasn’t lost on me that this was a world that drew from Asian cultures and legend, which is a rarity to this day and something I appreciated as an Asian-American father. That my daughter was able to see characters who looked like her on screen was more than just entertaining. It was a gift.

Flash forward 15 years. Netflix offers me the opportunity to develop a live-action remake of Avatar. My first thought was, “Why? What is there I could do or say with the story that wasn’t done or said in the original?” A:TLA had only grown in popularity and acclaim over the last decade and a half, which is a testament to how complete and resonant a narrative experience it had been. So if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

But the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I became. VFX technology has advanced to the point where a live-action version can not only faithfully translate what had been done in animation — it can bring a rich new visual dimension to a fantastic world. We’ll be able to see bending in a real and visceral way we’ve never seen before.

Also, Netflix’s format meant we had an opportunity to reimagine a story that had originally been told in self-contained half-hour episodes as an ongoing serialized narrative. That meant story points and emotional arcs we’d loved in the original could be given even more room to breathe and grow.

Finally, a live-action version would establish a new benchmark in representation and bring in a whole new generation of fans. 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.

I also knew what I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want to change things for the sake of change. I didn’t want to modernize the story, or twist it to fit current trends. Aang is not going to be a gritty antihero. Katara is not going to get curtain bangs. (I was briefly tempted to give Sokka a TikTok account though. Think of the possibilities.)

Don’t get me wrong. We’ll be expanding and growing the world, and there will be surprises for existing fans and those new to the tale. But throughout this process, our byword has been “authenticity.” To the story. To the characters. To the cultural influences. Authenticity is what keeps us going, both in front of the camera and behind it, which is why we’ve assembled a team unlike any seen before—a group of talented and passionate artists who are working around the clock to bring this rich and incredibly beautiful world to life.

But in the end, the reason I decided to do this came down to one thing:

Somewhere out there, a young kid is sitting glued to their TV, waiting to be taken on an incredible journey. And I want to take them on it.

I hope you’ll come along too.

Meet the Cast and Creative Team of Netflix’s Avatar: the Last Airbender

Overview of Casting News

GORDON CORMIER (he/him) is AANG (12), a fearless and fun-loving twelve-year-old who just happens to be the Avatar, master of all four elements and the keeper of balance and peace in the world. An airbending prodigy, Aang is a reluctant hero, struggling to deal with the burden of his duties while still holding on to his adventurous and playful nature.

KIAWENTIIO (she/her) is KATARA (14), a determined and hopeful waterbender, the last in her small village. Though only fourteen, she’s already endured great personal tragedy, which has held her back from rising to her true potential, though it’s never dimmed her warm and caring spirit.

IAN OUSLEY (he/him) is SOKKA (16), Katara’s sardonic and resourceful 16-year-old brother. Outwardly confident, even brash, he takes his responsibility as the leader of his tribe seriously, despite his inner doubts over his warrior skills… doubts that he masks with his wit and deadpan sense of humor.

DALLAS LIU (he/him) is ZUKO (17), a skilled firebender and the intense and guarded Crown Prince of the Fire Nation. Currently roaming the world in exile, he’s on an obsessive quest to capture the Avatar because he believes that is the only way to reclaim his life and live up to the demands of his cruel and controlling father, the Fire Lord.

Gordon Cormier, Kiawentiio, Ian Ousley, and Dallas Liu join as series regulars.

About Avatar: The Last Airbender

Showrunner / Executive Producer / Writer: Albert Kim (Sleepy Hollow, Nikita)

Executive Producers: Dan Lin (The Lego Movie, Aladdin) and Lindsey Liberatore (Walker) for Rideback and Michael Goi (Swamp Thing, American Horror Story)

Co-Executive Producer: Roseanne Liang

Directors: Michael Goi, Roseanne Liang and Jabbar Raisani

The series will be an authentic adaptation of the award-winning and beloved Nickelodeon animated series AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER reimagined as a live-action adventure.



Nickelodeon and iHeartRadio Partner on Brand-New Podcasts Based on Beloved Animated Series





Nickelodeon and iHeartRadio Partner on Brand-New Podcasts Based on Beloved Animated Series “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “SpongeBob SquarePants”
“Avatar: Braving the Elements” bows Tuesday, June 22 followed by “SpongeBob BingePants” later this year.
[via press release from Nickelodeon]
NICKELODEON AND IHEARTRADIO PARTNER ON BRAND-NEW PODCASTS BASED ON BELOVED ANIMATED SERIES “AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER” AND “SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS”

Network Expands Slate with Companion Podcasts Avatar: Braving the Elements Hosted by Original Series Voice Talent Janet Varney and Dante Basco and SpongeBob BingePants with Hosts Frankie Grande and Hector Navarro

Additional Podcasts to be Announced Soon

BURBANK, Calif. – May 13, 2021 – Nickelodeon, the number-one network for kids, and iHeartRadio, the No. 1 podcast publisher globally, are extending the worlds of Avatar: The Last Airbender and SpongeBob SquarePants with two original podcasts for loyal fans who grew up on the beloved franchises. Hosted by original series voice actors Janet Varney (the voice of Korra) and Dante Basco (the voice of Prince Zuko), Avatar: Braving the Elements will explore the Avatarverse, while super-fans Frankie Grande and Hector Navarro will take fans down to Bikini Bottom with SpongeBob BingePants. Co-produced by Nickelodeon and iHeartRadio, these companion podcasts will be available on iHeartRadio and wherever else podcasts are found starting this summer. The news was announced today during ViacomCBS’ presentation at the IAB Podcast Upfront.

“The family podcast market is still nascent, and we’re thrilled to be working closely with our good friends at iHeartRadio producing exciting new content for all audio platforms,” said Douglas Rosen, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Business Development and Digital Products, Nickelodeon. “Not only are we extending our beloved franchises and IP to the audio landscape, but we’re also working with creative talent to produce new ideas and concepts for all audiences.”

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the team at Nickelodeon to bring such incredibly fun shows to audiences everywhere,” said Will Pearson, Chief Operating Officer of the iHeartPodcast Network. “I’m not sure you could pick two better franchises to kick things off, and there’s much more to come. We can’t wait for fans to hear these shows.”

Additional podcasts featuring beloved Nickelodeon titles from its library are currently in development and will be announced in the coming months.

The first podcasts to be released are:

· Avatar: Braving the Elements (40 episodes, premieres Tuesday, June 22, 2021) – Enter the amazing world of Avatar through the official companion podcast from Nickelodeon. Join hosts Janet Varney (the voice of Korra) and Dante Basco (the voice of Prince Zuko) each week as they re-watch every episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender and break down key themes, notable battles, and behind-the-scenes trivia. Special guests from cast members to producers join them to explore elements of the Avatarverse, including the origins of the story and how Avatar was brought to life.

· SpongeBob BingePants (40 episodes, premieres later this year) – Hosted by super-fans Frankie Grande (Henry Danger) and Hector Navarro (Geek & Sundry), the official SpongeBob SquarePants re-watch podcast dives down to Bikini Bottom for a recap of every episode, hilarious conversations, and never-before-heard secrets about everyone’s favorite optimistic sea sponge.

Nickelodeon’s podcasts feature brand extensions of its hit franchises and original content. New series Avatar: Braving the Elements and SpongeBob BingePants join Listen Out Loud with The Loud House, The Casagrandes: Familia Sounds, Blue’s Clues & You!: Bedtime Stories and Nickelodeon Animation Podcast. These podcasts are available across iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube and wherever podcasts are found.

Avatar: Braving the Elements and SpongeBob BingePants are distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network.

About Avatar: The Last Airbender

Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender emerged from its three-season run (61 episodes), from February 2005 to July 2008, as one of the most beloved animated properties in history. Honored with a Peabody Award and Primetime Emmy, along with multiple Annie Awards and Genesis Awards, the series follows the adventures of the main protagonist Aang and his friends, who must save the world by defeating Fire Lord Ozai and ending the destructive war with the Fire Nation. In addition to the series’ success, the property has spawned into several bestselling book series, which continue to roll out new original stories. The graphic novel series most recently spent two months on the New York Times Graphic Books Bestseller list in 2020, and the young adult novels have spent 22 cumulative weeks on the New York Times Young Adult Bestseller list and have shipped over a quarter million copies. The DVD and Blu-rays are also incredibly successful, with the “Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Series” generating nearly $38MM in retail sales since its 2015 release.

About SpongeBob SquarePants

Since its launch July 17, 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has reigned as the number-one animated series on TV for the last 18 years, while generating a universe of beloved characters, pop culture catchphrases and memes, theatrical releases, consumer products, a Tony Award(R)-winning Broadway musical and a global fan base. SpongeBob SquarePants is the most widely distributed property in ViacomCBS Networks International history, seen in more than 170 countries and territories, translated in 30+ languages, and averaging more than 100 million total viewers every month. SpongeBob SquarePants was created by Stephen Hillenburg and produced by Nickelodeon in Burbank. The character-driven cartoon chronicles the nautical and sometimes nonsensical adventures of SpongeBob, an incurable optimist and earnest sea sponge, and his undersea friends.

About Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon, now in its 42nd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The brand includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, location-based experiences, publishing, and feature films. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC).

About iHeartMedia, Inc.

iHeartMedia, Inc. [Nasdaq: IHRT] is the leading audio media company in America, reaching over 250 million people each month. It is number one in both broadcast and digital streaming radio as well as podcasting and audio ad tech and includes three segments: The iHeartMedia Multiplatform Group; the iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group; and the Audio and Media Services Group. Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.