Avatar: The Last Airbender star James Sie discusses joining the Netflix series and feeling like royalty thanks to his role in the original show.
Actor James Sie recently discussed his involvement in Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, in which he will reprise his role as the fan-favorite gag character, the Cabbage Merchant. According to the actor, being involved in both the animated series and the new show made him feel like royalty.
In an interview with It’s Recording Time Media, Sie talked about appearing on the Netflix show. “It was a real honor to be called for the show… I can’t say anything about it, but I can say that everybody who worked on it is such a big fan of the series. Not just the story, but the series.” When asked how his younger co-stars reacted, he explained, “I felt like visiting royalty when I went out to do my scene, because everybody knew me and it felt really special.”
The Avatar and Cabbages
Sie was officially announced as part of Netflix’s live-action series back in September 2022, following reports that suggested he was involved. It’s uncertain how heavily involved he is in the show and whether or not his appearance will be limited to one cameo or several, akin to his appearances in Nickelodeon’s original animated series.
The Cabbage Merchant appeared in several episodes between the first and second seasons of the animated show. He would appear across the Earth Kingdom along Aang, Katara and Sokka’s adventures, each time experiencing the loss of his merchandise, marked by his signature line, “My cabbages!” The character and the gag were also referenced in the sequel series, The Legend of Korra.
What Do Fans Know About Netflix’s Adaptation?
There have been several reports over the last year suggesting the Netflix show will adhere to the scenes, characters and designs audiences were introduced to the animated series. More recently, it was reported Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender may be included canon material that was only introduced in recent years by Avatar Studios, suggesting the two companies may be working more closely than previously believed. However, it should be noted that none of this has been officially confirmed and that creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino departed the project back in 2020.
There have also been reports that Netflix is already discussing the future of the live-action adaptation. It was previously suggested that the second and third seasons of the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender may film back-to-back. This is partly due to concerns that stars Gordon Cormier and Kiawentiio, who play Aang and Katara, respectively, will be several years older than their characters by the time the next seasons begin production.
Netflix’s live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series does not yet have a premiere date. Nickelodeon’s original animated series is available for streaming on Paramount+.
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