Avatar’s Ozai and Aang Stars Spar in Epic BTS Photo

A new photo showing Gordon Cormier and Daniel Dae Kim sparring gave fans an exciting behind-the-scenes look at Netflix’s upcoming live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series.

This glimpse, shared by both Cormier and Kim on their social media, previews the epic showdown between the story’s titular hero Avatar Aang, played by Cormier, and Kim’s big bad Fire Lord Ozai. While Cormier and Kim wear modern workout garb in the photo, they strike poses that capture the essence of their respective characters’ martial arts styles and invoke the iconic imagery of the original animated series. “Mortal enemies on camera, practice buddies off,” Kim wrote. “Happy to train with you anytime, Gordon!”

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The photo also offers a glimpse at the different martial arts styles that will be represented in the live-action series. in the original Avatar: The Last Airbendereach of the four nations’ bending was based on a real-life martial art, with waterbending similar to tai chi, earthbending reminiscent of Hung Ga kung fu, firebending based on Northern Shaolin kung fu and airbending inspired by baguazhang.

Kim, known for his roles in Hawaii Five-O, Lost and the Diverging films, was cast as Fire Lord Ozai in November 2021. Since being officially cast, the actor has repeatedly voiced his enthusiasm for the upcoming role, but recently explained that he consulted with his friend’s children before he agreed to join the series.

“When it came time to decide whether to do the live-action series, I called all of my friends’ kids and my nieces and nephews and asked them whether they think I should do it. Before I even got the question out, they were like, ‘Yes!’” Kim said. “I was like, but wait a minute, before you answer, just know that I play a bad guy. And they were like, ‘Ozai?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ ‘Do it!’ So, there was no hesitation whatsoever. So, it made it easy for me to say yes, and you know, make my nieces and nephews and my kids happy.”

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Avatar: The Last Airbender first ran on Nickelodeon between 2005 and 2008. Created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the original show garnered praise for its deep and dynamic characters, fluid animation based on real forms of martial arts, representation of Asian cultures and a story that could be genuinely enjoyed and appreciated by all ages.

DiMartino and Konietzko originally signed on to helm the new series, but announced they had left the project in August 2020, citing creative differences with Netflix. “Whatever version ends up on-screen, it will not be what Bryan and I had envisioned or intended to make,” DiMartino said at the time. Albert Kim then took up duties as showrunner and was quick to promise that no unnecessary changes would be made in the new adaptation.

Joining Aang on his quest to balance the world and stop the imperial and expansionist Ozai will be Katara and Sokka, two siblings from the Inuit-inspired Water Tribe, portrayed by Kiawentiio Tarbell and Ian Ousley, respectively. The new series will also star Dallas Liu and Elizabeth Yu as Ozai’s children, Zuko and Azula, as well as Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Iroh, Ozai’s kind-hearted brother.

While the live-action adaptation does not have a release window, Avatar: The Last Airbender is currently streaming on Netflix.

KEEP READING: Avatar’s Original Zuko Blesses His Live-Action Replacement: ‘It’s Your Turn’

Source: Twitter

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