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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Avatar: The Last Airbender BTS Photo Shows Aang Actor Has Shaved Their Head

Avatar: The Last Airbender actor Gordon Cormier shared a photo of his shaved head as he prepares to play the leading role of Aang for the upcoming Netflix series.

Netflix recently confirmed that production has begun on Avatar: The Last Airbender, with early principal photography being captured in Vancouver, Canada. Cormier, who will headline the series' cast the titular last airbender, shared a photo of himself on Instagram alongside his co-star, Ian Ousley, who will play Sokka of the Water Tribe. As shown in the photo, Cormier bears a shaven head, a signature of the Avatar's look in the beloved Nickelodeon series.

"Kickin with my bud [Ian Ousley] before an early start tomorrow!" Cormier captioned the photo.

Announced in 2018, Netflix's take on Avatar: The Last Airbender is a direct adaptation of the cartoon of the same name, which ran across three seasons between 2005-2008. Like the cartoon, the new series tells the story of Aang, the reincarnated Avatar, who must learn to master his control over the four elements to defeat the villainous Fire Nation. In both series, Aang is a member of the Air Nomads, who perpetuate a tradition of shaving their heads.

When Netflix announced the core cast of Avatar, the streaming platform described Cormier's Aang as a fearless and fun-loving 12-year-old who is also a reluctant hero, struggling to balance his playful nature with his responsibilities as the Avatar. Cormier's previous roles have included one-off appearances in shows such as Get Shorty, Two Sentence Horror Stories and Netflix's Lost in Space, and a recurring role in the 2020 adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand. His co-star Ousley has held roles on series such as 13 Reasons Why and Young Sheldon.

Cormier and Ousley will be joined by Kiiawento (Anne with an E) as the waterbender Katara and Dallas Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) as the conflicted Prince Zuko. Uncle Iroh will be played by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, best known for his work on the Canadian sitcom Kim's Convenience. Ken Leung (Lost) will play Admiral Zhao, and Lim Kay Siu (Nightwatch) will play the monk Gyatso. Fire Lord Ozai, Zuko's father and the tyrannical ruler of the Fire Nation, will be played by Daniel Dae Kim of Lost and Hawaii Five-O fame. Like Cormier, Kim recently shared a behind-the-scenes photo hinting at his early preparation for the series.

Despite the creators of the Avatar cartoon departing the project over creative differences in 2020, Netflix has promised a faithful adaptation helmed by showrunner/executive producer/writer Albert Kim (Sleepy Hollow, Nikita). Rounding out the Avatar team are executive producers Dan Lin, Lindsey Liberatore, Michael Goi and co-executive producer Roseanne Liang. Goi and Liang will also direct some of the episodes, as will Jabbar Raisani of Lost in Space.

Avatar: The Last Airbender does not yet have a release date, but all three seasons of the original series are available to stream on Netflix in the United States as is its sequel series The Legend of Korra and the 2010 live-action movie The Last Airbender.

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