Daniel Dae Kim, well known for his role on “Hawaii Five-O,” will now play a key character in Netflix’s live-action “Avatar: The Last Airbender” series.
The Hollywood Reporter announced the news earlier Wednesday. Kim will take on the role of Fire Lord Ozai, the vicious ruler of the Fire Nation. One hundred years ago, Ozai’s ancestors began a war on the other three nations that Ozai feels destined to finish. He’s hampered by the Avatar, who’s just a 12-year-old Airbender named Aang, along with his group of friends. Among those friends (initially foes) is Ozai’s own son, Prince Zuko.
Daniel Dae Kim will spend a fair bit of time with Prince Zuko actor Dallas Liu. Although Kim’s character features more prominently in the last season of the original animated show, he does appear in many of Zuko’s flashbacks earlier on. We’ll see a strenuous relationship develop between Ozai and Zuko as the young prince does everything he can to restore his honor.
Netflix announced the live-action series back in September 2018. At the time, the streaming service worked with the original show creators on the project. But Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko parted ways with Netflix in August 2020 over creative differences. They also made a deal with ViacomCBS to develop an “Avatar” The Last Airbender” styled production company there, called Avatar Studios.
Joining Daniel Dae Kim in the Netflix cast is Dallas Liu as Zuko, Gordon Cormier as Aang, Kiawentiio as Katara, and Ian Ousley as Sokka. More cast members should be announced soon as the show starts to wrap up pre-production. According to Screenrant, the show is scheduled to start filming this month and wrap production in May 2022.
Where Else Have You Seen Daniel Dae Kim?
Many fans recognize Daniel Dae Kim from his roles in “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-O” throughout the early 2000s. He also played key characters in the “Divergent” sequels, “Insurgent” and “Allegiant” in the 2010s. More recently, Kim starred in the 2019 “Hellboy” movie and the 2021 Disney animated film “Raya and the Last Dragon.”
But diehard “Avatar: The Last Airbender” fans will remember he voice-acted a character on the original series. In Book 2, Daniel Dae Kim starred as General Fong. He only appeared in one episode, but Kim would return to the Avatar universe in the sequel series, “The Legend of Korra.”
During “The Legend of Korra,” Kim voiced Hiroshi Sato for seven episodes across four seasons. Both Sato and Fong were antagonists on the animated show. So Kim should have no problem bringing the ruthless Fire Lord Ozai to life.
Daniel Dae Kim also recently produced ABC’s “The Good Doctor” and the film “Blast Beat” in recent years. He even directed one episode of “Hawaii Five-O” in 2015.