First Look At Key Characters In ‘The Last Airbender’

Published 5 years ago by

the last airbender aang the avatar First Look At Key Characters In ‘The Last Airbender’

One of the greatest cartoons ever, in my opinion, is Avatar: The Last Airbender. Last year, I watched all three seasons (called ‘books’ in their cool structure, named after the elements in the story) and while it took a few episodes to get into, it picked up fast and quickly became an incredible journey, a deep story and most of all, an entertaining series for all audiences.

Today, we finally have the first images of two main characters, Aang and Prince Zuko from the movie after the jump.

The show was critically acclaimed and a massive success for Nickelodeon. So, it was no surprise when they quickly went ahead and started to make a movie (or a trilogy of movies) based on the show. The project is headed by M. Night Shyamalan who desperately needs a new hit on his resume to counter his falling reputation from each of his movies being consecutively worse than the previous.

What raised a sense of worry about this particular project is that many thought it just too difficult to translate the cartoon into live-action without it either being too extreme, goofy and corny (similar to Dragonball Evolution), or it not respecting the source material and therefore, the built-in fanbase.

The situation got real bad later on in the process, when casting announcements started hitting the web and many folks were up in arms over alleged racist casting choices in selecting mostly Caucasian actors to play Asian characters. This was most notable when young pop star Jesse McCartney was cast as Prince Zuko.

Fans were not impressed. Could this situation have any more negatives going for it?

Conveniently, he dropped out, and more conveniently they cast a non-Caucasian actor to replace him. Hot from the buzz surrounding Slumdog Millionaire, the talented Dev Patel stepped in to play the role and I thought it was a great decision.

Continuing the trend of addressing the lack of a multi-cultural cast, further casting announcements were made over a month later adding Aasif Mendvi, Shaun Toub, Cliff Curtis and Keong Sim to the The Last Airbender’s roster.

There were still doubts surrounding the movie and I didn’t feel much positive for the project. That is, until now…

USA Today has a pair of exclusive photos of Noah Ringer, the 12-year old Karate star in full costume as Aang (the Avatar) and of Dev Patel in costume as Prince Zuko of the Fire Nation:

the last airbender noah ringer aang First Look At Key Characters In ‘The Last Airbender’
Noah Ringer in full costume as Aang

the last airbender dev patel zuko First Look At Key Characters In ‘The Last Airbender’
Dev Patel as Prince Zuko

Their costumes look awesome and the actors look good in character – except for Patel’s hair which is the same as in Slumdog and nothing like Zuko’s from the first season. That being said, we don’t know what context that photo is from. It could be a flashback or some other scene. You’ll notice the angle of his face hinders our view of the part of his face where his big scar should be.

With these images finally out, we can hopefully expect to see more popping up online. I’m interested in seeing the other main characters and most especially, Appa, the six-legged flying Sky Bison. For those of you who never saw the show, I know it sounds crazy.

What do you think of the live-action incarnations of Aang and Prince Zuko?

The Last Airbender (the leading title word “Avatar” was dropped as to avoid confusion with James Cameron’s Avatar) is scheduled to open July 2, 2010.

Airbender Trivia: Noah Ringer’s friends called him Avatar for years because of his resemblance to the character before even auditioning.

Source: USA Today

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  1. Also, Bobby (2 messages up)
    1) He’s not fat, it’s the pose you silly person
    2) Aang is not always silly in the animation anyway, obviously this is a serious fight scene. There are quite a few of those ;)
    3) Aang IS white, there’s a difference between white Asian and caucasian. But Aang’s skin colour is white. Especially compared to Sokka and Katara.

  2. I don’t know I’m gonna need a little more before I start getting optismitic about this one. First let me say that I too am a big fan of the cartoon series, got all the books. but so far until I see the Aang kid in action the verdict is still out on his casting. I also agree that Dev Patel may have been a better choice for Sokka but maybe he can bring the layers of emotions needed for Zukko’s character. On another note someone meantioned Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. I for one would not be put off of the idea of them taking a look at that film and getting some ideas on how to bring this whole thing to life. A matter of fact they may want to take a look at Kung Fu Hustle also. Sounds wild but I can explain it better if anyone cares.

  3. this might be good, but hopefully they stay true to the story or this could be just another repeat of the total failure of Dragonball the movie, which disappointed me soooo much. Im a really big fan of avatar and I hope that they use the show as the foundation for the movie. If they do it’ll definitely be worthe the wait

  4. hmm looks fial, kid seems like hes 5 and really doesnt fit aang, and whys zuko indian,im not hating, but zuko didnt seem indian. there ganna mess this up like what happened to the dbe movie, sad really.

  5. huge fan of the avatar series its all i think bout haha i really hope that its not like the DBE movie cause the set designs were dodgy and pooh. the cartoon is set with asian styles but it was made in america by american writers who i guess were influenced by and fell in love with the asian cultures. zukko looks good and i hope that bloke can handle the emotional conflicts that zukko is faced with and i think that picture of him looks like the episode in book three where they are all on the beach zukko had the fight with his father in the generals hall.

    i didnt like aang at first because his tattoo doesnt look that visible but ah well and he has blue eyes but besides all that off putting stuff i will definetly be at the premiere in my home town

  6. oh and katara and soka look like they are eskimos not asians. the whole style of there water tribes look eskimoish

  7. I have low expectations for this movie. I feel that it would make a better made for tv movie than a theatrical release.

  8. so im not exactly the biggest Avatar fan, but i did enjoy watching the episodes i caught on YTV. I was just looking through youtube and saw The Last Airbender teaser trailer…i have to admit im teased. i will definitely be heading out to see this movie. Im just a little worried as some people have pointed out the actors for some of the characters…dont seem to quite fit… But i will be tuning in to the avatar tv series more :D probably going to buy the dvd seasons if i can. or youtube em ;P

  9. i think their choise was wrong … my question is.. why does aang has to do with karate?? they should have chosen a guy who knows kung fu… karate isnt as brillant as kung fu with all my respect

  10. Okay i was a really big fan of the show. I loved it. to see it live action i think would be great. However i am really tired of whites being cast as asian parts. i don’t have anything against whites, i am half and half, but i mean really? Last thing… why are all the good guys white, and all the bad ones from middle eastern decent?

  11. i love avatar but i was looking up information on the movie and who were going to be the actos to play the characters …. who ever picked the actors .. should repick them again ….. for some actors that actualy fit the characters

  12. The picture of Dev Patel in his Zuko costume looks good however I do not see the big scar on his left eye. Noah Ringer also looks cool in his Aang costume but it doesn’t actually look like the air nomad costume from the animation series.

  13. awwwwwwww hes sooooooo cute!!! (aang)

  14. I’m not liking what they are doing with Prince Zuko at all. His hair is all wrong and that scar is too simple. Aang is cute but he isn’t supposed to be so young. Considering he and Katara end up a couple at the end, which is just supposed to be a year later, and get married etc.. it’s kinda disturbing.

    As a huge fan watching with my daughter – including the DVD sets of all episodes – I am really hoping he doesn’t mess this up. I love M. Night Shyamalan, fan of him and his work. I believe he can pull this off. I’m just disappointed he already isn’t sticking to the facts. I know we’ve only seen a teaser and a couple of pics, but you’d think they would put out the photos and clips that would give people hope if they had them.

    Anyway, I’m still going to go see this. Have to. I love the series too much and enjoy his movies too much to pass it up!

  15. I’ve been a fan of the show since it first aired in 2005. I just can’t see this show as a “live action” film. I’m probably not gonna see this movie since I’m afraid that it’ll ruin the show for me. The cast they have chosen don’t make me wanna see the movie any more than I already did (at least Jessie McCartney isn’t gonna be Zuko anymore…)

    Now for my thoughts on the cast as it is now:

    The kid playing Aang does look cute (like how he is at the beginning of the series), but the arrow looks wrong. Looks too fake and it’s not easy to see. The outfit also looks too much like a costume rather than actual clothing (the leggings).

    As for Zuko, I can’t see the scar. It should be very noticeable (as it is in the show on Zuko’s fair complexion, which this actor does not have)

    I’ve seen the characters who play Katara and Sokka, and I have issues with that. The people of the Water Tribe are known for their dark skin tones, brown hair and blue eyes. These two have pale skin, green eyes, and lighter hair. They either needa get new people or have them get tans, dye their hair and wear colored contacts…

    But I will admit that the trailer looks cooler than I thought, though I still needa see more until I make my final decision on whether or not I wanna see this film at all.

  16. I am so excited about this movie. I only have a few concerns, but hopefully they can be fixed. Firstly, everyone has already pointed them out, but Zuko’s hair and scar. I sure hope that this is a flashback. And, if you will remember correctly from the cartoon, Zuko didn’t have a full head of hair until around the end of the second book to the beginning of the third. Next, I think that Noah’s, Aang’s, tatoo needs to be a bit heavier. It looks way too discrete.

  17. the trailer did look pretty cool….BUT the characters…arent they suppose 2 be asian. no offence but they got an indian dude playin ZUKO. i dont think thats accurate..

    & another thing….you people bragging about AANGS outfit…
    HE’S A SHOULIN MONK.. the reason it looks different in the series is because in the series, its just orange & brown. so stop bit_chin. & the tattoo is cool, its markings are from the air temple.. so shut up.

    1 last thing.. i think this movie is going 2 do better than DRAGONBALL Z!!! dat movie sucked so bad.

  18. i dont see the point of having dev patel as zuko it should be an oriental at least no offence to anyone he doesnt look like zuko hes just looks like his character from slumdog millionnaire

  19. awwwww aang looks soooo cuuuuttteeee hes so adorable!!! and from the previews of the movie he looks like hell be really good with his martial arts skills!! i cant wait for this movie i LOVED avatar so im pretty psyched bout this

  20. I’m not sure why people are so upset about with the casting. Sure Zuko i darker than the is probably meant to be but i would have thought the fans would like that a STRONG ACTOR is playing Zuko, who is a very complex character. Also basing your entire annoyance at the apparant neglect of a scar from a photo that is not even a mid shot seems like you’re getting ahead of yourself. The scar is probably going to look like a reals scar rather than a big red tattoo like in the cartoons.
    As for western actors portraying asian characters. Well who ever said Aang was Asian? Sure the series borrows heavily from aian culture but the face structure of Aang in the cartoon doesn’t suggest a pure asian lineage. I’m not saying he cant be asian i’m just saying that the cartoon is a NEW WORLD so the adaptation of the people is open of artistic leniancies. Frankly i think Aang’s cast very well. The boy looks like Aang, in my opinion, and he has martial arts training, what more do you need?
    I think we should allow judging only once the film has been seen, then hate it as much as you want. It is EXTREEMLY difficult to create a film, especially one of these proportions. So show a little faith in the Director/producers etc after all they’re making it for you, the least you can do is approach it with an open mind.
    Just saying. :\

  21. Im very excited for this movie, since I have an overactive imagination and always thought since the beginning of this series how cool it would be if it we ever a live action… But, like everyone else, I also have a few things Im concerned about, and everyones pretty much said them Im sure…

    I agree with Magee on everything, first off ;o
    And then people get upset about having no Asians in the movie because everyone is supposed to be Asian and everything, well these people are coming from all over the world, and our whole world isnt just Asian.. lol plus, Dev Patel is Indian and… thats in Asia. At this point I think we should just wait for the movie to come out and complain about possible bad acting and things like that, not color. :D

  22. You’ve missed the whole point! Why do people seem to overlook the fact that not many story lines that hit mainstream Hollywood, that are produced and hit the theaters are based in the Asian culture? The issue isn’t if a non Asian actor can pull off the role. The main issue is that given the limited amount of roles for for Asian actors, it’s wrong to exclude them from the main cast of a Asian based story line that revolves around a clearly Asian culture!

  23. ..and Jade, Oriental is a word used in reference to a object, not a person.

  24. Prime example to my point about ethnic roles, Slumdog Millionaire. Was consideration given to any other non Indian actors to play the lead characters in a clearly Indian/India based story line? Even though a non Indian actor, with make up and providing a powerful performance could have pulled it off. No, it didn’t happen. Just like it’s not happening here with this movie, only in reverse.

  25. I’m actually very excited to see this movie, and I’ve basicly been a fan of it ever since it first aired in 2005. Even though the series is finished i still watch some of my favorite episodes from time to time.
    Basicly I couldn’t care less about the ethnic background of the cast really. as long as their good actors and have good martial arts exprience, im fine. And also you guys have to realise that these guys are trying to make this movie as authentic as they possibly can, so the characters aren’t gonna be wearing the same bright clothing that they do in the show. I think wat aang is wearing in the picture is really realistic compared to actual monks clothing. As for Zuko im sure its just a flashback picture, i mean you really only see the side of his face without the scar so dont start judging now becuase u cant see the other side of his face ^^
    Im positive that as the year goes by they’ll show more accurate details of the casting roles until they actually get to the movie. though im quite interested in how they payed attention to the detailed scenery, seems very avatar world-ish LOL. :)

  26. I watched the series it was good trailer looked asome as for charecters, who gives as long as the movie follows the right plot

  27. Thatnk you GOD! i was so happy when i found out jesse was out! I really dont want this movie screwed up! I’ve watched every Avatar episode and have played all the games (though tey were easy XD) I just found out about the movie last week when the trailer played in theaters. Im so excited!!!

  28. Ummmm… ok so isn’t Aang supposed to be like carefree and funny? in both the pictures and the teaser trailer he looked a bit to serious to be Aang and his arrow is too non-noticable. i hope they fix that. I really can’t wait for this to come out.

  29. well,its just a movie coming this 2010 (can’t wait :3 )
    so enjoy it.

    i have no comments about the character,costume,or any kind as long as that movie not getting out of the original based avatar animated series and if its does, lots of fans out there will be so upset.

    congrate their work :)