Avatar the Last Airbender Almost Didn’t Release – You Won’t Believe How Close It Was!

The special effects team for Netflix’s series “Avatar: The Last Airbender” was working against the clock…

For its live-action adaptation of the cult anime Avatar: The Last Airbender, Netflix enlisted the best in the business. The job was handed over to Jabbar Raisani and Marion Spates, who have worked on some of the biggest productions in recent years, including the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Game of Thrones, and Stranger Things.

Down to the Wire

Despite their extensive experience, the unique world of Avatar posed a significant challenge. To bring it to life and do it justice, they had to work right up until the last minute.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jabbar Raisani revealed that they finished their work only the day before the show’s release on February 22, and the episodes were uploaded just in time for the series to debut on Netflix.

It’s a challenge. I think we’re always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. We’re always trying to get better, and we push right up until the last minute. It’s not intentional, it’s just because we really want to do our best.

I was texting the Duffer brothers – Marion and I worked on Stranger Things’ fourth season – and I was joking with them saying: ‘Hey, look, we delivered this show even later than Stranger Things’ fourth season.’ And they said: ‘You realize you’re the common denominator’ (laughs).

A Monumental Challenge

When asked about the biggest challenge with the series, both supervisors agreed that bringing elements from the animated show to life was a major hurdle. The most difficult task was accurately portraying the powers of Aang (Gordon Cormier), who controls air, and Katara (Kiawentiio), who controls water, as Marion Spates explains:

We all know what water looks like and we all know the rules of gravity, friction, and physics. With the water powers, we have to take something that’s very familiar to us and make it break all these rules, while still making you believe it’s something real. That was a real challenge.

This comprehensive and engaging interview shines a light on the behind-the-scenes work and helps to showcase it to a wider audience.

The first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender is currently available on Netflix.

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