Sokka actor justifies the changes made in Avatar: The Last Airbender remake

Actor Ian Ousley reveals that the cast of Avatar: The Last Airbender is still waiting on scripts for season 2.
Avatar: The Last Airbender. Ian Ousley as Sokka in episode 101 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2023
Avatar: The Last Airbender. Ian Ousley as Sokka in episode 101 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2023 /

Netflix's live-action remake of Avatar: The Last Airbender came out in February, and while feedback was mixed, the show was a hit. Netflix has already renewed the series for seasons 2 and 3, which means they'll be able to adapt the whole of the original Nickelodeon animated show into live-action.

The show was good. It looked nice, it told a sweeping story, and it was fun to see a new version of a classic series. But for olds like me, who have enjoyed the animated original for years, it was hard not to compare it to the first series and find the new one lacking. Why did Aang and Katara seem to have so much less personality? Why were some of the original episodes combined in ungainly ways? I liked the remake, but there's room for improvement.

Ian Ousley, the actor who plays Sokka in the remake, talked to Complex about changing things from the original show. "The animated show is basically the heart and soul of our show, but our show is different," he said. "It's live-action. Anything's going to be different when you take it from animation and put it into real people. So just trying to add those human elements into it, finding where they really didn’t get to dive into because it’s an animated series, trying to find where we could mix those human elements in."

"That's what I would say to some of the critics: “I hear you and we love the animated show and it exists and is perfect for a reason.” I think that it's necessary to bring some differences to the show so that we can have some new content. You have to take risks, and I think we took some risks. Sometimes that really, really pans out and sometimes it doesn’t. I think that most of our risks really did. "

There were certainly things about the new show that I enjoyed, and I never doubted that the people behind the camera believed in what they were doing. "Everyone on the cast and the creative side of things were really fans of the project, which is rare to find, a project that everyone is so passionate about. We were like, 'Okay, this has to be good because there might have been a movie at some point that maybe wasn't so good.'"

Ousley is snarking there about M. Night Shyamalan's 2010 Last Airbender live-action movie, which is famously bad. I will say, I think Ousley gave the best performance in the remake, and comments like this point to why. He seems to share Sokka's sarcastic personality even after the cameras have stopped rolling.

Avatar: The Last Airbender cast hasn't received scripts for season 2 yet

Ousley mentioned at a couple of points that the cast members "don't have any scripts yet for season two and three," so anybody hoping for a quick turnaround is probably going to be disappointed. But everyone is looking ahead.

"We've gotten so much constructive criticism, which is why we all want to make the show as good as possible," Ousley said. "Still, not just for season one, but season two and three. I think we really have that opportunity now as well to find our voice in season two and three."

Ousley himself is thinking of ways to deepen his performance as Sokka in future seasons, but right now, everyone's waiting. "I will find out more about that when I get those scripts. Hopefully soon."

Avatar: The Last Airbender comic now available for free

While we wait for word on that, Webtoon has something to entertain fans: you can read all three parts of Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise, a graphic novel set directly after the end of the original series originally published in 2012.

There were a few of these Last Airbender comics published years back, and they generally have a very good reputation in the fandom. In fact, I wouldn't be shocked if we saw one or two adapted by Avatar Studios, which is working on new animated projects. But those, like the second season of the live-action show, are in the future.

Next. Avatar: The Last Airbender. All 8 episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender ranked from worst to best. dark

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and Twitter account, sign up for our exclusive newsletter and check out our YouTube channel.