Avatar: The Last Airbender

Zhao, Iroh and Ozai have been cast! and more…

Aasif Mandvi, Shaun Toub and Cliff Curtis have joined the cast of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender for Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies.

The Last Airbender Cast

Mandvi (far left) will play the role of Commander Zhao, the ambitious and hot-tempered Fire Nation commander.

Toub (middle left), from Iron Man and Crash fame, was cast as Uncle Iroh, the retired Fire Nation general and devoted surrogate parent Zuko.

Curtis (middle right), of acclaimed films like Training Day and The Insider, will play the ruthless ruler Fire Lord Ozai.

In addition, Keong Sim (far right) has been cast in the role of Earthbending Father. Whatever role that is…

38 Responses to “Zhao, Iroh and Ozai have been cast! and more…”

  1. DEDE IS THE DARK NIGHT says:

    tHIS SUCKS THE CAST LOOK NOTTHING LIKE WHAT THEY ARE IN THE SERIES THEY'VE RUINED THE SERIES. ON A LIGHTER NOTE, FIRST!!! BUT I HATE THIS M NIGHT SHYALAMAN.

  2. Mcjansen says:

    Wow what a great addition to the existing cast! great actors, all of them, looking forward to this!

  3. blahahahaha says:

    :angry:I think M. Night lied about liking avatar and is trying to ruin this movie on purpose. I jus go used to the actors playing zuko, katara, sokka, and suki….and now these guys playing sum of our favorite adult characters?

  4. Juun says:

    Yeah, we all know Firebenders don't wear a suit and tie to work. OBVIOUSLY Shyamalan is trying to pull the wool over our eyes, but thank goodness we're so much smarter and can tell from a photograph how much this actor's contribution to the movie – and therefore the entire movie – will suck. *rolls eyes* Some of you people make me laugh.

    Seriously, though, my only hope is that they decide to keep Ozai in the shadows like they did in the first two seasons of the show. That dark anonymity really made his character stand out when he was shown in the third season. He was like a tyrannical, fire-shooting Wilson…. Maybe Earl Hindman should have played him! 😉

  5. Night says:

    I'm actually really liking the direction casting is taking. Basically the Fire Nation will now be represented by people of Indian descent. I really like that, it gives a lot more diversity to the series.
    As for the guy playing the role of Earthbending father, I don't know what that is for…
    Is he supposed to be Toph's dad? But that doesn't appear until the second book.

  6. M-C says:

    The earthbending father they are talking about is Haru's father I believe he is called Tyro – a one off character in the Imprisoned episode. (well he is in the 3 season a bit)

    I agree with the last poster – this is good – they are making the Air nomads white( or causian one would asume) the Fire nation Indian, the Earth kingdom Asian, and slightly tanned (innut I assume) for the Water Tribes. They are trying to make it feel like four distinct peoples – I think its brillant.

  7. Concerned Parent says:

    Wow!
    Are you guys blind?
    You don't see the direction this movie is going?
    Yes, the Fire Nation actors are Indian,
    but, on screen the first impression will “Middle Eastern”
    The heroic Water Tribe/Air Nomads will be white,
    while the villains of the Fire Nation are Middle Eastern,
    and the Earth Kingdom with the corrupt government are Asian.

  8. Reinier says:

    I think it is a great cast!

  9. Cara says:

    The Fire Nation is not being represented by 'Indians'. Take another look.

    Mandvi IS Indian born and who immigrated to America; Toub is an Iranian born American who was raised as a Persian Jew; Curtis is of Polynesian descent, of the Maori natives of New Zealand; and Sim is an Asian-American raised in Chicago.

    Please stop seeing conspiracy theories where none exist. These are talented and versatile actors. Judge them on their previous body of work instead of skewed “racial” profiling.

  10. Mr Suntail says:

    My only concern is how is iroh going to look fat with a head like that 😛
    seriously though i think that this is a good move.

  11. To Cara says:

    I meant “Indians” as in India, not Native American.

    And I said, everyone's first impression will be “Middle Eastern”

    It's not a theory. It plain as day.
    Fire Nation = Middle Eastern
    Earth Kingdom = Asian
    Water Tribe = Caucasian
    Air Nomads = Caucasian

    I am not saying anything bad about their skills and talents. I just don't understand why the dark-skinned actors are the villains and the Caucasian actors play the roles of the heroes.
    Caucasians don't exist in the Avatar universe!

    The animated series clearly shows
    the Fire Nation as East Asian,
    the Air Nomads as Tibetan,
    Water Tribe as Inuit,
    and Earth Kingdom as Japanese and Korean.

    Why can't Paramount see that?
    Did they not watch the show?
    Did they not consult the creators, Mike and Bryan and the research done on the Asian cultures represented in the series?
    I thought M.Night was a fan of the show.

  12. Mr Suntail says:

    Can we please get past the race thing, Look at season 3 episode 7 ( I think) where Aang and Zuko learn how the war began, Aang learns that any people from any nation are capable of good or evil and hopefully that message comes through loud and clear in the movie

  13. To Mr Suntail says:

    Your analogy fails.
    “any nation are capable of good or evil”
    I don't think that will be the message with the current cast.
    Hollywood has a history where the majority of the heroes/heroines are casted as Caucasian.
    If “any nation are capable of good or evil”
    then why are Asians incapable of good?
    Why does Hollywood always have to cast the Asian guy as the villain?
    Why does the Water Tribe and the Air Nomads have to be Caucasian?
    The skin color of the Water Tribe are not “Caucasians with a tan”

    There wouldn't be a “race thing”
    if they just cast EVERYONE Asian.
    There are NO Caucasians in the Avatar Universe!
    Just like you don't see Asians in LOTR Universe!

    “Get past the race thing”
    I am sorry, but, my anger has not begun to die down.
    Every new update about this film has been throwing gasoline into the flames.
    Jackson Rathbone still has not made a public apology and his comment alone
    is enough to boycott this movie.
    Paramount pictures, M.Night, and the creators of the show Mike and Bryan still need to make a statement on this controversy.

    I am not Caucasian so I don't have the privilege to “get past the race thing”

  14. Cara says:

    I got that you meant Indian as in India. Mandvi was born in Mumbai, India.

    So you're not caucasian and you don't have the privilege to “get past the race issue”. Rightttttttttt. I'm black and I ain't buying that. You can get beyond whatever you have the backbone to get beyond and no one can prevent that but yourself.

    This so-called 'race' issue is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot. You're judging on images of real people as they go about their real lives. Not as actors portraying specific characters that are all tricked out in full character regalia. Jumping the gun and making assumptions on race is silly, in my opinion. At least wait and see how they appear in costume before trying to use the race card! That's all I'm saying.

    Movies can't be – and never should be – carbon copies of books or television series. The contextual part of the storyline is what is the “heart” of any film and it's the “heart” that's important.

  15. To Cara says:

    So you are saying that I have no backbone
    because I can't get over how the casting decision offends me?

    Have you even seen the Avatar animated series?
    They don't have to be carbon copies
    but, they should at least get the race of the character correct and respect the Asian cultures represented.
    The “heart” of Avatar: The Last Airbender was the refreshing departure from a predominantly white media. To finally have non-white heroes in a storyline was inspirational and empowering to many children in the minority. To take that away is not taking away the “heart” but ripping it out of the chest and stomping on it.

    I am against the casting decisions. I have nothing against the actors/actresses chosen. I do not doubt there skills and talents. I actually feel sorry for them. They don't have a clue what they are getting themselves into. If they would just watch the show and know the “heart” of the storyline, they would refuse to be part of this production.

    So, if there was an animated series based on African cultures with African heroes and African villains. And the producers decided to cast the heroes with talented Caucasian actors/actresses, would you wait and see how they appear in costume before trying to use the race card?

  16. Ursula K. Le Guin says:

    “I think it is possible that a good many readers never even notice what color the people in the story are. Don't notice, maybe don't care. Whites of course have the privilege of not caring, of being 'colorblind.' Nobody else does.”

    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=54866461619&topic=8099

  17. Gene Yang says:

    I think the aforementioned Black Panther offers a useful comparison. Here's an ethnic hero created by two white guys for a largely white American audience. He's the king of a made-up nation – Wakanda – with a made-up culture that draws very blatantly from real-world African cultures. Now, imagine this: Marvel Studios decides to make a Black Panther movie. During casting they announce that, really, what they want is an emotional connection with the audience, and race ought to take a back seat. In the end, they give the part to an up-and-coming Caucasian actor, who states in an interview that he thinks he can pull the role off just fine with the help of a tan, a perm, and some good old-fashioned suspension of disbelief. How do you suppose the public would react?

    http://www.geneyang.com/blog/index.php?entry=entry090128-131008

  18. Mr Suntail says:

    “Your analogy fails”
    Only because you allow it to, I'm not letting this get under my skin, I don't see what you see in the casting. All i see is a capable cast, under a capable movie maker. If we had chosen english for the fire nation, then we could go down the Americans dont like the english, or if they were chinese its targeting communism, or Russians ye old cold war argument. Truthfully if you look at avatar in twenty years and apply the then current political situations, you can always find what your looking for.

  19. To Mr Suntail says:

    You really don't get it, do you?

    There wouldn't be any “political situation”,
    if they just cast the characters correctly.
    Or if you just cast all the characters with Asian-American actors/actresses, there wouldn't be a “race thing”.
    They couldn't find any actors/actresses out of the 14 Million Asian-Americans and the 3 Million Native Americans?

    There are NO caucasian characters in the Avatar universe. NONE!

    The only Indian character in the show was The Guru.
    The Fire Nation are Japanese/Chinese/Korean.
    The Earth Kingdom are Japanese/Chinese/Korean.
    The Air Nomads are Chinese/Tibetan.
    The Water Tribe are Inuit.

    How many times do I have to repeat myself before it registers?

  20. Mr Suntail says:

    The makers of Avatar are not complaining about the casting. I understand what you are saying and i get what you are trying to communicate. That is your opinion. Mine differs from yours. This does not mean that i do not understand. Understanding does not mean that i have to agree with you. I believe that the casting is great, with people from heaps of backgrounds. A few months ago there was feedback that the cast was all white. Now its mainly not white and its still not good enough for some. Still, I maintain that in MY opinion, its great and that i disagree with you. you cant change my mind and i cant change yours. I can live with that, can you?

  21. To Mr Suntail says:

    During the commentary, the creators, Mike and Bryan confirmed that ALL characters are Asian.
    I am sure the creators, Mike and Bryan signed a contract for them to keep there mouths shut.

    A few months ago and to this day
    the “feedback” of an all caucasian cast was that
    there is no equal representation.

    Casting the villains as “Middle Eastern”,
    the background characters as Asian,
    does not make up for
    the heroic characters being Caucasian
    I wouldn't call that “heaps of backgrounds”

    I agree with your opinion that the talents of the current cast are great.
    But, its not an opinion that the role of Aang, Sokka, and Katara rightfully belong to Asian-American and Native-Americans. It's fact.
    What other race can relate to the genocide of the Water Tribe and the Air Nomads?
    It just doesn't make sense that the characters are Caucasian.

  22. Mr Suntail says:

    Actually if you want to get technical the roles do not belong to anyone from America, they belong to Asian's, which there-in lies the flaw of the argument.

  23. Mr Suntail says:

    whoops didnt mean to stop there. 🙂
    Maybe we should get Asia's hollywood Equivalent to make the movie and then get it dubbed for English speaking countries. I think that is the only way that it would be truly asian. But Hollywood is where its happening so we will have to make do. Im not going to argue anymore over this as i can still see that we wont agree. Peace.

  24. Sparky Sparky Boom Man says:

    Why can't Hollywood give the struggling Asian-American actors/actresses a time to shine?

    The Last Airbender was supposed to give the opportunity for the young Asian-Americans to be in the spotlight like kids from Harry Potter.

    Hollywood, you fail.

  25. King Bumi says:

    Dev Patel would be a great Sokka.
    Mandvi would be a great Hakoda.
    Toub would be a great Guru.
    Curtis would be a great Bato.

  26. RWB says:

    “The Fire Nation are Japanese/Chinese/Korean. ”

    More leaning towards japanese than anything else though.

    “The Earth Kingdom are Japanese/Chinese/Korean. ”

    Primarily based on China.

    “The Air Nomads are Chinese/Tibetan.”

    Indeed.

    “The Water Tribe are Inuit.”

    Indeed again.

    Just making sure we're on the same page.

  27. Juan Doe says:

    “There wouldn't be any “political situation”,
    if they just cast the characters correctly.”

    LOL yeah because Tibet being virtually destroyed by China wouldn't piss anyone off.

  28. To RWB says:

    too bad the film is not on the same page.
    seems like they are reading a totally different book.

  29. To Juan Doe says:

    Not sure why China would be pissed off…
    they seem to have no problem manufacturing Avatar toys.
    Or maybe China didn't notice in the animated series that the Tibetan genocide was similar to the Air Nomads' genocide.

    LOL yeah because The Native Americans being virtually destroyed by Europeans wouldn't piss anyone off. So let's cast the Water Tribe with Caucasian actors/actresses. Yea that makes sense.

  30. Reginaldo Soares says:

    The best way of cast for this movie would be Shyamalan to watch and study the Avatar series again. Zuko, Azula, Osai, Iroh, Agne kay are japanese names and terms, so the Fire Nation is associated to old feudal Japan. Omashu, Ba Sing Se, Toph, Raru, Bumi are Chinese names and terms, so the Earth Kingdom is the ancient China. Katara, Sokka are inuit terms, so the Water Tribes are associated to the inuit people. Aang and the monk´s way of life are associated to the ancient Tibet and so it is the Air Nomads. This film is made to be a total fail to the fans.

  31. To Reginaldo Soares says:

    total fail to the fans
    and smart people.

  32. to by To Juan Doe says:

    I'm a fan and I am not stupid and its not a fail to me. I like the casting and it truely amazing that a tv series made for children would have such in depth and important political messages like the injustice to tibet. I don't believe that the avatar series was made to point out the injustice of China or the western world and if it was then it is a Fail because most of us thought it was a great adventure/kids story. On the extra's interview on the avatar dvd the creators talk about how they created avatar and why, and none of it was political, they are just a couple of guys who had an idea to make a cool story. They're probably thinking “WTF?” when they read forums like this talking about the political arguments that have developed from their show.

  33. by to by To Juan Doe says:

    I am positive that Mike and Bryan put some serious thought into the genocide of The Air Nomads and the Southern Water Tribe. To say it was just a coincidence that they shared similarities of real life political events, takes away from the powerful message they were trying to convey in this great adventure/kids story.

  34. Re above says:

    Seriously wacth the interviews of them on the dvd's. Find an article or anything they have quoted which involves the political references of what you are referring to and i will take your point, but i think its more a case of some guys taking the old traditional “under dog china kung fu” vs “japanese karate and military dictatorship” story, that has been told for decades in movies , e.g. bruce lee movie (fist of Fury) or Jet Li (fist of Legend or Fearless). I think that is the angle that they have come from and if you apply that to the show it makes just as much sense as applying the events of tibet. Japan is the fire Nation, China the air benders, the fighting forms and cultural appearance suggests that (i think).Based on the interviews i have seen and the articles i have read, I cant see that they are as political as you believe them to be. To me its just a couple of guys who took kung fu, sci fi and combined it for a great show, which is pretty much how they described what they have created on the interviews on the dvd's. IF they are more political than that, they have not shown it and therefore have sold themselves and their message short.

  35. ali says:

    even avatar is ” the American hero who saves the world” now…

    this is lame rrly. these stuff fuel conspiracy theories, its just so uncalled for, why? why? :S:S…

    dunno about the movie story, but if its not excellent, this movie would be a big fail..

  36. racebending.com says:

    Dear Jackson Rathbone,
    Please use this as reference when you get your tan,
    http://aang-aint-white.livejournal.com/4398.html

  37. nick schmoyer says:

    i think it is dumb that all the characters are grown ups. in the series they were 12 and 13. wtf!!!!!! i think that runans the whole part of the story.kids who have speical powers who have to save the world sounds much more interesting. but that is my opanion.

  38. Diaigma says:

    @Nick

    Well, all those guys pictured above are going to play adult roles from the show…

Leave a Reply to Reinier