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Netflix’s ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Heads into Virtual Production

Live-action adaptation of Nickelodeon’s popular franchise has kicked off production using Pixomondo’s custom-built, state-of-the-art virtual production facility in Vancouver, allowing for real-time in-camera VFX, setting a new standard for immersive storytelling.

Netflix has announced that production has begun in Vancouver on the live-action epic adventure Avatar: The Last Airbender, based on the animated series from Nickelodeon. Filming for the series will take place in a new, custom-built facility using some of the same cutting-edge technology that was used for Netflix’s The Midnight Sky and 1899, and Disney’s The Mandalorian.

The state-of-the-art stage, designed and operated by Pixomondo (PXO) Virtual Production, is 84 feet across and 28 feet high with 23,000 square feet of stage space and more than 3,000 LED Panels, making it one of the biggest virtual production volumes in North America. The stage allows for visual effects to be done in real-time in-camera, combining multiple environments on a single stage, setting a new standard for immersive storytelling.

“We’re thrilled to start production on this incredible project, and we’re especially excited to work with the technology-benders at PXO to create the wondrous world of Avatar: The Last Airbender using the most advanced techniques available to filmmakers anywhere in the world,” commented showrunner, executive producer and writer, Albert Kim.

Avatar: The Last Airbender will be an authentic adaptation of the award-winning Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender reimagined as a live-action adventure. Kim (Sleepy Hollow, Nikita) serves as showrunner, executive producer, and writer. Alongside Kim, Rideback’s Dan Lin (The Lego Movie, Aladdin) and Lindsey Liberatore (Walker) serve as executive producers as well as Michael Goi (Swamp Thing, American Horror Story). Goi, Roseanne Liang (also a co-executive producer), Jabbar Raisani and Jet Wilkinson direct.

Netflix also announced furthering casting for the series including:

  • Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (he/him; Kim’s Convenience, The Mandalorian) will play Uncle Iroh, a retired Fire Nation general and the wise and nurturing mentor to his hot-headed nephew, Prince Zuko.
  • Lim Kay Siu (he/him; Anna and The King, Nightwatch) will play Gyatso, a kind and caring Air Nomad monk who is the guardian, father figure and best friend to Aang.
  • Ken Leung (he/him; Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Industry) will play Commander Zhao, a scheming and ambitious Fire Nation military officer who’s eager to leverage an unexpected encounter with a desperate Prince Zuko to advance his personal goals. 

The new cast joins previously announced actors Gordon Cormier as Aang; Kiawentiio as Katara; Ian Ousley as Sokka; Dallas Liu as Zuko; and Daniel Dae Kim as Fire Lord Ozai.  

Source: Netflix