Probably one of the biggest gripes about M. Night Shymalan’s The Last Airbender was the blatant whitewashing of several characters, especially the main trio of Aang, Katara, and Sokka. Now with Netflix working on another Avatar adaptation, it looks like the production is going to attempt to be more “politically correct” when it comes to casting.
Talking to the Wyrd Crafts Chit-Chat podcast, Toph voice actress Jessie Flower said about the upcoming production, “We are excited about the casting being true to the location and background heritage and all that stuff. Where each nation is based and will be casting from that location. Or at least casting someone who is primarily from that ancestry location. So they are trying to be really PC about the whole thing.”
If you watch the original show closely, you’ll notice that every nation is actually based on a real-life race in history. The Water Tribe is based on the Inuit, the Earth Kingdom is based on the Chinese, the Fire Nation is Imperial Japan, and the Air Nomads are based on Tibetans (specifically their Buddhist culture).
With the original showrunners Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino at the helm, hopefully, they’ll come up with a show that improves upon the original animation. I mean, after what Shymalan put the fans through, all they can really go is up.
No release date has been set for Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender, but maybe we can expect a release sometime in 2021.