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Avatar: The Last Airbender Live-Action Series Adds Amber Midthunder, George Takei

Plus, Trevor Noah announces his Daily Show departure, House of the Dragon loses another producer, HBO's The Last of Us trailer, and more top TV news.

by | October 2, 2022 | Comments

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Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender series announced the addition of Amber Midthunder, Danny Pudi, George Takei, and many more to its cast. Trevor Noah announced his departure from The Daily Show. House of the Dragon has lost another executive producer. AMC offered a sneak peek at Krysten Ritter in Orphan Black: Echoes. Plus, trailers for HBO’s Last of Us, Starz’s Dangerous Liaisons prequel series, the return of Inside Amy Schumer, and more top TV news.


Netflix’s Epic Avatar: the Last Airbender Cast Keeps  Growing

(Photo by Netflix)

Netflix’s live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series is sporting one heck of an ensemble cast. Presented by the streamer as an “authentic adaptation of the award-winning and beloved Nickelodeon animated series,” the project has been busy building out the four nations that exist within the show’s world: the Water Tribe, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. Below is the latest group of talent cast added to the highly-anticipated series:

The Water Tribe:

  • Amber Midthunder (Prey, Roswell) is Princess Yue, the compassionate spiritual leader of the Northern Water Tribe.
  • A Martinez (Cowboy Bebop, Ambulance) is Pakku, the veteran waterbending master of the Northern Water Tribe and a fierce defender of their traditions.
  • Irene Bedard (Pocahontas, The Stand) is Yagoda, an empathetic healer who serves as a role model for her tribe’s female waterbenders.
  • Joel Oulette (Trickster, Ruby and the Well) is Hahn, a strong and skilled warrior with an unwavering loyalty to his tribe.
  • Nathaniel Arcand (Heartland, FBI: Most Wanted) is Chief Arnook, father to Princess Yue and the respected leader of their tribe.
  • Meegwun Fairbrother (Burden of Truth, Mohawk Girls) is Avatar Kuruk, a previous Avatar with a haunted past.

The Earth Kingdom:

  • Arden Cho (Partner Track) is June, a tough and persistent bounty hunter known for her ruthless efficiency.
  • Utkarsh Ambudkar (Ghosts, World’s Best) is King Bumi, the ancient and mercurial ruler of the Earth Kingdom city of Omashu.
  • Danny Pudi (Mythic Quest, Corner Office) is The Mechanist, an eccentric inventor and engineer who’s doing his best to raise his son in a war-torn world.
  • Lucian-River Chauhan (Encounter, Heartland) is Teo, the idealistic and high-flying son of The Mechanist.
  • James Sie (Stillwater) is the Cabbage Merchant, a long-suffering vegetable vendor in Omashu.

The Fire Nation:

  • Momona Tamada (Secret Headquarters, The Baby-Sitters Club) will play Ty Lee, an energetic and upbeat teen and one of Princess Azula’s best friends.
  • Thalia Tran (Raya and the Last Dragon, Little) is Mai, an unflappable and deadpan teen who, along with Ty Lee, is one of Princess Azula’s closest allies.
  • Ruy Iskandar (Yes Day, Benders) is Lt. Jee, the first officer of Prince Zuko’s ship.
  • Hiro Kanagawa (Altered Carbon, The Man in the High Castle) is Fire Lord Sozin, the ruthless and ambitious previous ruler of the Fire Nation and grandfather to Fire Lord Ozai.
  • C.S. Lee (Dexter, Warrior) is Avatar Roku, a wise and benevolent past Avatar from the Fire Nation.
  • François Chau (The Expanse, American Gigolo) will play The Great Sage, the venerated spiritual leader of the Fire Nation and guardian of Avatar Roku’s shrine.
  • Ryan Mah (The Good Doctor, Snowpiercer) is Lt. Dang, Commander Zhao’s second-in-command.

Beyond the four nations, some characters have the ability to transport to a parallel dimension called the Spirit World.

The Spirit World:

  • George Takei (Star Trek, Resident Alien) will voice Koh, an ancient, predatory spirit.
  • Randall Duk Kim (John Wick, Kung Fu Panda) will voice Wan Shi Tong, who appears in the form of a giant owl and is also known as the Spirit of Knowledge.

New Trailers: Pedro Pascal prepares for the apocalypse in HBO’s The Last of Us 

After a long wait, HBO has released the first official trailer for their highly-anticipated post-apocalyptic series The Last of Us — adapted by Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) from the super popular PlayStation survival horror video game of the same name. The series follows a survivor named Joel (played by The Mandalorian’s star Pedro Pascal) as he treks through the American wasteland after a deadly disease called, “the cordyceps fungus” decimated the population and altered the face of humanity forever. His assignment: deliver a young girl named Ellie (played by Game of Thrones alum Bella Ramsey) to doctors who think she may hold a cure to the monstrous plague.

The Last of Us also stars Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, Melanie Lynskey, Nick Offerman, Graham Greene, and Murray Bartlett. It’s set to premiere in 2023 on HBO.

Read More: Everything We Know About The Last of Us HBO Series

More trailers and teasers released this week:

• Horror icon Robert Englund narrates Blumhouse’s Compendium of Horror, Epix’s five-episode docuseries that brings together the biggest names in the genre to dissect the impact of scary movies on pop culture. Premieres October 2. (Epix)
• The Solar Opposites gang are delivering the crazy tricks and spooky treats in the animated Halloween programming event, A Sinister Halloween Scary Opposites Solar Special. This is a Justin Roiland joint, so expect things to be out of this world. Premieres October 3. (Hulu)
Abominable and the Invisible City is the wild and wooly series inspired by Dreamworks Animation’s feature film Abominable. The 10-episode series stars Alan Cumming, Chloe Bennet, Tenzing Trainor and Michelle Wong.Premieres October 5. (Hulu)|
I Love You, You Hate Me  is a two part docuseries exploring the meteoric rise of children’s Barney and Friends and the unexpected backlash the purple dinosaur ended up receiving. Premieres October 12. (Peacock)
The Vow Part II will continue to explore the story of NXIVM and its founder Keith Raniere, who was revealed as a leader of a secret sex cult within the self-improvement program. New evidence will come to light as members of Raniere’s inner circle speak out for the first time. Premieres October 17. (HBO Max)
Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities is bringing the gruesome fun back to the horror anthology series genre. Each episode will be helmed by a different filmmaker (Ana Lily Amirpour, Panos Cosmatos, Catherine Hardwicke, Jennifer Kent, and Vincenzo Natali, for example) picked by del Toro, himself. The stellar cast included Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham, Geena Davis, Ben Barnes, Rupert Grint, Kate Micucci, Nia Vardalos, Andrew Lincoln, among many more. Premieres October 25. (Netflix)

Yellowstone season 4 promises more explosive drama as John Dutton (Kevin Costner) officially takes office as the Governor of Montana. Does this mean all-out war for the Duttons? According to the trailer, the answer is a resounding yes. Premieres November 13 (Paramount+)
• Based on the Pierre Choderlos de Laclos classic, this new Dangerous Liaisons series (not to be confused with the 1988 movie starring Glenn Close and John Malkovich) explores the beginning relations of the Marquise de Merteuil (Alice Englert) and the Vicomte de Valmont (Nicholas Denton) as they meet on the eve of revolution in Paris. The series follows the couple as they level up from the slums of Paris to the upper echelons of the French aristocracy. Loads of manipulative seduction soon follow. Premieres November 6. (Starz)
Inside Amy Schumer is back after a six year hiatus. And by the looks of things, the sketch comedy series hasn’t lost a beat. In fact, now that it’s on Paramount+, we probably should expect more laughs, and less censorship. Oh, the possibilities!  October 20. (Paramount+)
One of Us is Lying revealed the murderer in the season 1 finale. Picking up from that jaw-dropping cliffhanger, season 2 will beg the question, just how far with the Bayview Four go to protect their secret, themselves and each other? Premieres October 20 (Peacock)
Rogue Heroes hails from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and tells the dramatized tale of how the Special Forces unit “SAS” was formed during World War II. Connor Swindells, Jack O’Connell, Dominic West, and Alfie Allen star. Premieres 2023. (Epix)

For all the latest TV and streaming trailers subscribe to the Rotten Tomatoes TV YouTube channel.

Casting: Taika Waititi’s Time Bandits Series Sets Cast

Taika Waititi

(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Taika Waititi’s Time Bandits series — which is inspired by Terry Gilliam’s iconic 1981 movie documenting time-traveling adventures of an 11-year-old boy named Kevin and the six dwarves who take him on an otherworldly adventure through time to rob and steal — has formed its ensemble cast. Emmy and SAG Award winner Lisa Kudrow has been cast as Penelope and Kal-El Tuck is Kevin. While the 1981 film starred actors with dwarfism, the series will feature a diverse group of time-traveling pirates for Kevin to deal with: Charlyne Yi is Judy, Tadhg Murphy is Alto, Roger Jean Nsengiyumva is Widgit, Rune Temte will play Bittelig, Kiera Thompson is Saffron, and Rachel House will play Fianna. The Apple series has been in development since 2019, so this announcement confirms the show’s official green light. Aside from writing and executive producing the series, Waititi will direct the first two episodes of the 10-episode series. According to the Netflix press release, this reimagining is, “A comedic journey through time and space with a ragtag group of thieves and their newest recruit: an 11-year-old history nerd.”

National Geographic’s Original Series Genius: MLK/X has found its cast: Kelvin Harrison Jr. will play Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Aaron Pierre is Malcolm X, Weruche Opia is Coretta Scott King and Jayme Lawson will play Betty Shabazz. It’s the first installment of the series to air as a Disney+ original.

True Detective is heading to Alaska for its fourth season (officially titled True Detective: Night Country) and it’s currently compiling a noteworthy cast. Joining the previously announced Jodie Foster and Kai Reis, who will star, is Deadwood alum John Hawkes, who will play police officer Hank Prior; Doctor Who‘s Christopher Eccleston is regional police chief Ted Corsaro; Killing Eve‘s Fiona Shaw will be mysterious survivalist Rose Aguineau; Finn Bennett will play Danvers’ protege Peter Prior; and Anna Lambe is a young no-nonsense nurse named Kayla Malee. (Variety)

Kevin Bacon has been added to the cast of Netflix’s highly-anticipated next installment in Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop franchise, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley.

Apple’s contemporary private detective series Sugar, which is set to star Colin Farrell, has added Nate Corddry, Sydney Chandler, Elizabeth Anweis, Miguel Sandoval and Jason Butler Harner to its ensemble cast. (Deadline)

The Wonder Years has tapped music icon Patti LaBelle to guest star in a two-episode arc in the upcoming season as Shirley Williams, the mother of Dulé Hill’s Bill Williams. Her character oversees the local church’s choir and is better known as “Mother Williams” in the episodes. (Variety)

Yellowstone prequel series 1923 has added Jennifer Ehle to its cast. She will play an Irish non named Sister Mary O’Connor who teaches at the School For American Indians in Montana. She joins an epic ensemble cast which will be led by Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. (Variety)

Stephanie Nur has been added to the cast of Taylor Sheridan’s latest Paramount+ series Lioness. The show, which is inspired by the real life CIA program of the same name, will find Nur playing the role of Aaliyah, the daughter of a billionaire businessman with potential ties to terrorism. (Variety)

Yellowjackets has tapped Malaysian actress Nuha Jes Izman to join the Showtime series in season 2 and upped Kevin Alves, who plays Travis Martinez, to series regular. Izman will appear as a recurring guest star, in the role of Crystal, who is described as “a member of the JV squad and a hard-core theater enthusiast who makes the dubious decision to bond with Misty.” (Deadline)

Steven Soderbergh’s latest series for HBO Max, titled Full Circle, has added The Shield alum CCH Pounder to its cast. The official program description explains the story as, “An investigation into a botched kidnapping uncovers long-held secrets connecting multiple characters and cultures in present day New York City.” (Variety)

Pam Grier and Luke James will lead the second season of Prime Video’s horror anthology series Them. Joining the duo is Deborah Ayorinde, who also starred in the show’s first installment, and new series regulars Joshua J. Williams and Jeremy Bobb. Wayne Knight, Carlito Olivero, Charles Brice and Iman Shumpert are set to recur. (Hollywood Reporter)

Lukas Gage has been added to the cast of HBO Max’s Dead Boy Detectives. Gage will step into the role of “charming trickster and itinerant cat spirit,” the Cat King. He takes over the role from Alexander Calvert. The eight-episode series is inspired by the DC comics of the same name, along with The Sandman, and are based on characters originally created by Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner. (Variety)

The Walking Dead‘s Christian Serratos will star in HBO Max’s drama pilot, More, which tells the fictional tale of the Kardashian-like influencer famous family The Lorenzes. Serratos will play conflicted international sex symbol Londyn Lorenz, as she struggles to find her own identity amid the pressures global fame. (Variety)

Production & Development: Trevor Noah Announces His Departure from The Daily Show

After seven years, comedian Trevor Noah is stepping down as host of Comedy Central’s long-running late night series, The Daily Show. Noah took over the mantle in 2015 when Jon Stewart quit his role as host and throughout his leadership run on the series, The Daily Show’s experienced a tonal makeover, leading the program to appeal more to the younger, at-home social media crowd. On Thursday’s taping of the show, Noah addressed the studio audience about his plans, saying, “I’ve loved hosting this show. It’s been one of my greatest challenges. It’s been one of my greatest joys. I’ve loved trying to figure out how to make people laugh even when the stories are particularly shitty on the worst days.” A final hosting date replacement for Noah have yet to be announced.

HBO’s House of the Dragon is losing another staff member from the show’s production ranks. Executive producer Jocelyn Diaz won’t be returning to the set of the Game of Thrones prequel series for season 2. Sources close to Diaz have pointed to a one-year deal she had with the program with an option for a second. She chose not to re-up. The timing of her exit may complicate things for the series, as Miguel Sapochnik, executive producer and co-showrunner on season 1, recently left the project. Co-creator and executive producer Ryan Condal is now the lone showrunner for the spinoff series sophomore run. (Deadline)

Hannah Gadsby has locked down a multi-title deal at Netflix, which will include a new stand-up special, and the addition of them hosting and producing a comedy special highlighting gender-diverse comedians.   (Variety)

Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman have teamed up to produce the six-episode Civil War spy series, The Gray House for Paramount Global. The series will focus on the unsung female heroes who helped turn the tide of the war. (Deadline)

Reservation Dogs, FX’s acclaimed comedy series created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waitit, has been renewed for season 3. The program’s second season ended its run on Wednesday, September 28 exclusively on Hulu.  (Variety)

Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire has been renewed for a second season ahead of the series official premiere on Sunday, October 2 on AMC and AMC+. (Deadline)

AMC Networks is developing two new potential horror series for air: Seconds, a reimagining of the 1966 cult classic movie, which starred Rock Hudson, with a female lead at the updated story’s center, and The Devil In Silver, inspired by the psychological horror tale written by Victor LaValle that, if successful, will be packaged as the first installment to a potential horror anthology franchise for the network. Members of the creative team from AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire are behind both projects. (Deadline)

Hulu has given a series order to eight-episode true-crime limited series Under the Bridge, about the 1997 murder of Canadian teenager Reena Virk. The program is based on Rebecca Godfrey’s 2005 book about the case. (Hollywood Reporter)

ABC has tapped Drew Goddard to write a yet-to-be-titled American version of popular French series Haut Potentiel Intellectuel (HPI). The network’s first pilot order for the 2023-2024 session will revolve around a single mother of three who, due to her impeccable organizational skills as a cleaner, ends up helping the police solve crimes. (Hollywood Reporter)

The MGM-owned pay cable network and streaming service Epix is set to rebrand as MGM+ on January 15, 2023. The name change comes following Amazon’s $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM earlier this year in March. (Variety)

AMC Offers First Look at Orphan Black Spinoff  

(Photo by AMC)

AMC provided a first look at Orphan Black: Echoes, the highly-anticipated spinoff series to the groundbreaking science fiction series Orphan Black, which starred Tatiana Maslany, at this week’s AMC Networks Summit. Three new images were released to promote the project (the one above, and the two below).

Creator Anna Fishko teams with John Fawcett, the co-creator of the original series, to bring the spinoff to life. The near future story once again focuses on the ways scientific advancement can manipulate the human experience. It follows a group of women as they weave their way into each other’s lives and embark on a thrilling journey, unravelling the mystery of their identity and uncovering a wrenching story of love and betrayal.

Orphan Black: Echoes will premiere in 2023 to AMC.

(Photo by AMC)

(Photo by AMC)

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