Aang is back! Netflix was just released the first official trailer for its live-action adaptation of the hit Nickelodeon show Avatar: The Last Airbender. And if you loved the original, you can breathe a sigh of relief: The new trailer looks good, actually. Really!
Fans would be right to be concerned about the new remake after the catastrophic failure of the 2010 live-action movie. With a stark lack of humor, whitewashed cast, and terrible bending, the movie, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, was a disappointment so bad that fans like to pretend it doesn’t exist.
The new TV show is a chance at redemption. And if the trailer is an indicator, it might actually be able to pull it off. Best of all, this new Avatar looks perfect to share with multiple generations of fans.
Avatar: The Last Airbender Trailer
There are no surprise deviations in the apparent plot from the trailer: We’ll be seeing Aang (Gordon Cormier), Katara (Kiawentiio), and Sokka (Ian Ousley), adventuring through the four nations as they evade Prince Zuko (Dallas James Liu) and prepare to take on Fire Lord Ozai and the Fire Nation. Fans have taken this as a positive sign that the adaptation won’t stray too far from the source material.
We also get a sneak peek at some of our favorite characters, like Bumi, Jet, and, of course, Appa and Momo. Beloved earthbender Toph, who doesn’t appear until season two of the original show, doesn’t appear in the trailer and her casting has not been announced, so it seems as if she will not appear early in the live-action series.
Perhaps the most hopeful sign from the trailer is that the CGI looks much, much better than it did way back with the 2010 attempt. The bending of all the elements are much more believable (and the Fire Nation’s armies bending is truly chilling), the landscapes are absolutely gorgeous, and the creatures are lifelike, on both the terrifying and snuggly extremes.
And although it does appear that the new series will be darker and grittier than the original at times — and the cast admitted that it was difficult to translate some of the lighthearted fun of the animation to their new version — the playfulness and humor of the kids shines through regardless.
Season one of the show is set to be eight hour-long episodes, following season one of the original series.