'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Cast Deems Netflix Live-Action 'Redundant'
The relaunch of Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008) on Netflix dusted off the cartoon's stellar reputation and slipped more cash into the streaming service's pockets. During a cast reunion, the original voice actors that brought the Nickelodeon series to live comment on the show's revival.
The online reunion featured Dante Basco (Zuko), Jack DeSena (Sokka), Dee Bradley Baker (Appa and Momo), Grey Griffin (Azula), Olivia Hack (Ty Lee), Jennie Kwan (Suki), Cricket Leigh (Mai), and Michaela Murphy (Toph Beifong). The discussion eventually touched on Netflix's upcoming live-action adaptation, and Baker didn't hesitate to break into the topic.
"I just don't know how you fulfill that any better than this show did. I'm open to whatever they do with the live-action series, which I know nothing about, but it's like, 'Well, how do you do this better than the way that it was rendered on this show?' I don't know how you do that! I hope you can." He went on to say that the original was "the high watermark, in all aspects, of storytelling and voice acting," and that he'll "never be in a better show." Hack agreed, adding, "Especially when you're doing the exact same series, but as a live-action. You're not adding onto it or expanding the universe. You're doing the same thing, which feels redundant, but I don't know."
The creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender have parted ways with the Netflix adaptation, and though they were appointed as executive producers and showrunners of the remake, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko chose to leave over creative differences. "Netflix's live-action adaptation of Avatar has the potential to be good," DiMartino's announcement read. "But what I can be certain about is that whatever version ends up on-screen, it will not be what Bryan and I had envisioned or intended to make."
All three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender can be found on Netflix, as it had become the most popular show on Netflix in May 2020.