Dev Patel as Zuko Last Airbender Movie

Below two pictures of Dev Patel (the guy from Slumdog Milliaonaire) as Zuko in the upcoming epic fantasy movie the Last Airbender, aka Shyamalan’s Aavatar:

Last Airbender Movie Trailer

Dev Patel as Zuko - Last Airbender Movie
Dev Patel
I suppose Indian people will rejoice to see Dev Patel in this role, but some squabbler could still assert that Zuko is actually from a Chinese-like civilization though… Hey, to the squabblers from any origin: that’s useless bickering!

I’m really happy with the cast selected by Director M. Night Shyamalan so far.

Some tidbits about Zuko in the original Last Airbender series:

Zuko

In the show, Zuko is the elder child of Fire Lord Ozai and Ursa. Zuko is a skilled Firebender and the Crown Prince of the Fire Nation, a race of people in which some have the ability to create and manipulate fire & lightning. Before the events of the series, he is exiled from the Fire Nation by his father Fire Lord Ozai and sent to capture the Avatar in order to restore his honor and right to the throne. Zuko is accompanied and advised in his search by his uncle, Iroh.

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35 Responses - “Dev Patel as Zuko Last Airbender Movie”

  1. daisy

    this guy is not who should play zuko! he is way to ugly and his ears are to big he so doesn’t fit into the role! he is going to kill the whole movie for me!

  2. Steep

    uhhh… i’m not looking forward to it… Dev Patel is a good actor and all but come on… he’s just not Zuko… the guy they picked for Aang is kinda chubby too… the movie shoulda been handed to a director who would actually attract the old fans and create new ones… if you don’t agree you should actually watch the television show

  3. bob

    stupid m night shyalaman is recruiting his fellow kin (indian actors) just so they can get a good break or something. even zhao, iroh and ozai look of indian/middle eastern descent. iroh isnt even fat! trust this director to seize every opportunity for his own benefit

  4. Noire

    @bob: WTH….? Recruiting his “kin”??? Do you honestly want me to list every single bloody movie made by Hollywood that does the EXACT same thing with Caucasian, African-American, and Latino actors? Why does it even MATTER? If you’re going to bash the cast, do it with a bit more of a brain.

    As for the pictures, I see potential… although I’m still iffy about whether the movie’ll be any good or not. I’ll just wait ’til the trailers come out. I don’t think I should expect it to be the same as the show, because it doesn’t really seem to be the moviemakers’ aim. I think the movie is to retell the story of Avatar: The Last Airbender in their own way, rather than duplicating the series. =] We’ll see…

  5. Gary

    This bites. I was very disappointed in the roles of the people. Zuko is white, not foreign. Aang is skinny, not fat. And Aangs tattoos are way to light. They need to be darker. If you ask me, if you put a Indian guy as the directer, you’re going to get a crappy movie, especially if its based on a cartoon. Also, I’m afraid that if they’re just kids, how will they do martial arts. That is the whole point of the show. Showing how different ways of martial arts are combining to do their bending. If it’s not, people are going to be very disappointed in the movie and in the director. Seriously, I can already tell that this movie is going to get a bad review. And cut that crap about putting your “kin” for the lead roles. It s**ks and no, they have no culture whatsoever with the Chinese arts. Do your fregin research because so far, you’re making a fool of yourself. Seriously, if you ask me, I would rather want your 7 yo daughter being the director than you. And I’m pretty sure that’s saying something. So give it up, or else you’re going to be out of the job on the second movie. You seriously need to do your homework on how all this stuff was done. Stop being stupid and ask the directors and makers of the original TV show how do these people look for the movie? what parts would you consider for the major parts to be in the movie? Do that or just seriously get a new director. NOT INDIAN OR ARABIAN.

  6. thaMC

    Wow, lol, these are some of the most blatantly racist comments I have read in a while. So far, the pictures are giving off a pretty good vibe for me. And, yes, I have watched the show…a lot. Looks “on” so far.

  7. nixta

    come on Zuko has a big red scar on his face where did that go?
    Zuko is asian not some english accented english freak from slum dog millionaire come on. If you ask me this guy does not have what it takes to direct this thing. i don’t care if they are trying to be all politically correct by getting this indian guy because all the other cast is white. He is not the right person. I’ve been a fan of the show ever since it came out this is just devestating and sad for a long time fan like me. This is not staying true to mike and brian’s show that they created. I bet they don’t like this either.

    PS. His armor looks like it is made of plastic.

  8. vincent

    zuko’s wardrobe looks like they got it from a haloween costume store

  9. bob

    i guess im just not used to this much indians/arabic looking people involved in a potentially promising movie. i also get my dislike for the director from his other movies which were all pretty bad. i also think that because of the previous racist comotion (about casting an all white cast), that m night shyalaman has brought the pendulum of tolerance way over to the other side, so much that he would cast indians. i mean i know that i would want a good movie played by caucasians that have experience to act accordingly (not that his choice of the white boy who was rumoured to play zuko was experienced/good) than to have an unexperienced cast being cast just to satisfy a society that is always trying to be politically correct and be qutie annoying(btw im asian if ur wondering)

    not saying il hate the movie (as ur probably thinking that if i have a problem with it, u’l tell me not to watch it) im just worried about how they can continue with these characters, eg what will azula look like knowning that zuko is black and wide eyed.

  10. northerner

    I’ve never seen a movie cast look soooo far away from the original characters on which they were based. Maybe they’re all great actors, I don’t know yet, but I hope they’re good enough to detour me from thinking ‘they’re all wrong for this part, he/she looks nothing like the character’ throughout the entire film.
    Ignoring the cultural and symbolic details may take some of the charm away from the characters – Zuko & Iroh having topknots was cultural, cutting them off was symbolic…. being pale as h*ll was characteristic of royalty in their culture.
    Zuko’s scar is a burden for him, it’s also a little symbolic of his character – a good side and a bad side (that’s the way I saw it, anyway). If not much is mentioned about it, like I heard, an important element would be missing from the character.
    Yeah, I probably sound pretty whiny, but I really love these characters and seeing them portrayed so differently with key elements missing or overlooked takes away from who they are and why they are such great and unique characters.
    Maybe M. Night should have come up with his own original story and characters and not changed what was great the way it was.

  11. victor terrero

    wow its funny to see how many of you are wrong in the aspect of who should play who in this.
    obviously the fire nation is based on Northern China, firebending is based on very accurately i might add on northern shaolin kung fu
    so naturally you should have a Chinese predominant cast for the entire fire nation
    as for the air nomads they are obviously based on the Chinese Shaolin monks and the Tibetan monks. airbending is based off of ba gua which is a type of kung fu, which is known for its circular movements that represent air or wind movement around a fighter.
    the water nation is based on the Eskimos and sections of china where its very cold to live, water bending is based on tai-chi another string from kung fu. and last earthnation is based on main land China with earthbending revolving around hung gar kung fu which use alot of heavy stances and kick to move and shift the ground and manipulate rock, tophs style is based on southern praying mantis style because of its precise steeping motions to stand their ground. makes sense since she is blinds. Anyway my point it mostly every should be of Chinese decent and know these practical style of kung fu i mean they don’t have to and it can be taught with a fight choreographer but it won’t be nearly as good as having experts do it.

  12. thaMC

    victor terrero: now that’s good critiquing. But, I got to ask, don’t you think acting would suffer if you FILLED the movie with real-life kung fu practicioners?

  13. Ojex

    I have to say I’m not impressed. its mostly the look I’m not happy with though. you can barely see the scar on his eye and for a faithful adaption of book 1 shouldn’t he have a pony tail? I can live without the ponytail, but the scar is needed. let’s hope this guy can pull off acting as Zuko.

  14. Toby Wise

    As much as I DO like M. Night, I’m disappointed in the choice of cast as well. As Victor clearly stated, the bending styles are based on martial arts disciplines centered around China, as well as the characters look oriental. Don’t tell me it would be hard to find talented asian actors (or of asian descent) to fill these roles. One only has to look at some of the cinema coming out of Hong Kong to realize this. Hollywood has been plucking them from there. Maybe Hollywood is worried an all-asian cast will reduce the demographic who will go and see the movie (beyond fans of the show). I thought that movies like Crouching Tiger and Hero had dispelled these beliefs that America won’t see a well-done asian inspired movie.

    And I sure hope these are just publicity stills. Why are Zuko’s and the other soldiers uniforms look like they just came off the rack. Aren’t these soldiers who are at war? shouldn’t they reflect this?

  15. =((

    I am so mad at the friggin director
    ZUKO is WHITE! Not Indian!
    i think that Dev Patel is the worst person to be playing zuko
    you can’t even see the scar
    if they wanted someone to be dark skinned it should have been sokka and katara…
    they mess up every friggin thing
    I hate M. Night Shyamalan.

  16. flarglepuf

    Wow. I mean, I personally like Dev Patel for Zuko instead of Jesse McCartney. But whoever runs the costume and makeup departments really need to be fired. The soldiers look more like they’re about to have a snowball fight, not fight in a 100 year long war. And Aang’s tattoos and Zuko’s scar are barely visible. In Season 3, Aang has to wear a headband because his tattoos are so blatantly obvoius. And I’m also dissapointed at Zuko’s lack of ponytail. Let’s just hope Sokka still has a ponytail…

  17. idiot

    where the heck is his pony tail in season one he had a bald head with a pony tail sticken out. And where the heck is the big red scar on his face he looks like he got his out fit from party city and zuko is chinese these idiots dont know anything

  18. Mad

    Okay, I’ve seen some better pics of Dev as Zuko, and the scar IS there, but it’s so light it looks as if it could heal up in a week or two, as opposed to a horrific scar that helps shape his whole personality. And while I do like Dev as an actor (I loved slumdog) I think he would have been far more appropriate as say, Sokka, who is one of the few non-benders and is actually darker-complected. I think Noah will do, but only if he is able to loosen up (Remember, Aang doesn’t get all angsty until book 3.) and for Roku’s sake, Darken That Tattoo!

  19. chicken

    i agree with much of what has been said about the scars and tatoos- zuko’s scar in particular is far too light. His scar is a symbol of his traumatic past. It also serves a dramatic function by letting the audience know straight away that zuko is not like the other fire nation commanders- he, too, has been burnt. This changes the way the audience (and the other characters) react to him and makes him a more sympathetic character. Reducing its prominence changes the whole dynamic of his relationships with the audience and the other characters.
    The lack of a topknot is also irritating. As Northener mentioned, the topknot was symbolic- it represents zuko’s position, his duties and his relationship with his father. It is also an embodiment of his culture (in the show, a composite of Chinese AND Japanese influences) which makes all of these things so important to zuko.
    I have to admit that in the show Zuko was one of my favourite characters. Watching his tortured soul inch towards redemption was one of the things that made watching the show so memorable and rewarding. I think Dev Patel probably has the acting chops to pull off the angst and torment that the role requires, but the decision to axe the topknot and minimise the scar shows a worrying lack of understanding of the tensions operating within zuko, at least on the part of make-up and costume.
    I’ve seen an interview with him and M Night seems to be a fan so i hope that he at least gets how zuko works and how crucial he is to the heart and soul of the story. At the end of the day, even if they get everything else right, a botched up zuko could ruin the whole movie.

    P.S. on the whole racial-casting issue: the good guys are white, the bad guys (ie the fire nation) are dark and there’s not an asian in sight- doesn’t really seem like political correctness got much of a look in at all.

  20. chicken

    I guess on the casting in general i have two main thoughts. Firstly, from the studio’s perspective, they’re obviously more concerned with box-office appeal than with cultural authenticity. Secondly, from the audience’s perspective, ultimately it shouldn’t matter what race the actors who play the characters are, as long as the film makers get the cultural aesthetics right. I hope they do:)

  21. booty

    ewww this guy should not be in the movie playing as zuko he’s too ugly seriously he’s gonna ruin the whole movie pick someone else to be zuko a better somebody

  22. avatar fan

    I think the really strong racist comments really take away from real artistic criticism. The cartoon series has such a strong fan base that really love these characters. They are the ones that will rush to see this movie and will be disappointed by the cating. It is the attention to detail and research into eastern mythology that made it so beautiful and real. Sokka and Katara were from the southern water tribe. ie. the south pole, and they were darkskinnned. The northern water tribe had fair hair and skin. Prince Zuko, had fair skin, and was asian. We believed in the characters because finally we had a story that was global and referenced eastern culture. I believe the casting of aang as he looked like that.
    I would swap the actors for Zuko and Sokka. Then, I’d believe it. Dev Patel would make a really natural Sokka he is naturally very likable as a funny goofball in Skins. I think in an attempt to be hollywood and marketable M. Night Shyamalan has missed the mark a little. Be brave and be faithful to a lovable beautiful story.

  23. gah!!what!?

    No! Come on! He’s too dark to play Zuko! And Sokka and Katara are too light to play their respective characters! Man! I’ should have been the casting director for this movie! I would have dome a MUCH better job than that… *sigh*… I’m disappointed.

  24. avatar fan

    For our own opinon we think that the guy playing Zuko should actually play Sokka. he looks more like him, other than that it’s perfect.

  25. B

    That’s right, this guy should play Sokka. He is really like Sokka. Zuko is a handsome, cool person. This guy looks like pretty. :)

  26. Sarah

    Does anyone know why they did not just cast the origional voice actor (Dante Basco) as Zuko? I’ve seen his other movies, most notably “Hook” and thought he did a wonderful job. Actually the part he played of a rebellious teenage leader and fighter in Hook reminds me a lot of Zuko. Also, forgive me for being petty, but he was also a lot better looking. :)

  27. tym233

    ok i absolutely LOVE avatar, but i see this movie going down the drain fast, i was sceptical at first, and the more i see, the less i like. plus, it sounds like im not the only one who feels this way
    there are so many thing is see on just the pictures, and teaser traler out, alone, much less the whole movie. if m. night can start to miraculously win over now fans of the franchise, how will he get new ones?
    i see this becoming the next eragon movies, hated by fans of the book, like by a few who never read the book, and failing at the box office, with out a sequel. ill go see it for the sake of the franchise, but it worries me greatly

  28. amxed

    Wow, guys. Stop raving about what’s already been done. I personally don’t care about the cast, as long as they can make it work in the film itself. Remember, this is an adaptation of Avatar; it doesn’t mean that the movie has to follow the original source to the letter. Now, if they changed Appa to a dragon, Sokka to a woman, or skin colors among family members (Zuko to Iroh, Sokka to Katara, etc.), I would be worried, but this? This is just a small tidbit in the grand scheme of things.

    What I’m truly worried about is how much they’re going to stick with the story. I just hope they can stay away from screwing up the first one to make the rest of the trilogy.

  29. Slappy

    Avatar had a great East Asian theme with the characters being essentially Chinese inspired. The Mahjong like game, all the references to tea and meditation, it was a theme and it created a mood for the show. It’s shame that seem to have thrown that away in the movie.

    Zuko should look intimidating. Dev Patel looks like about as intimidating as a house plant. You could just hold his head while he windmill punches.

  30. slightly annoyed

    the movie looks okay if they only change a few things.
    1)give Zuko back his symbolic scar and topknot
    2)make Aang Katara and Sokka act a little less serious at the beginning since they were originally a little goofy.
    3)create fire bender costumes that doesn’t make them look like a batch of cheap cos players

    P.S. I dislike Aang’s new tattoos
    P.P.S.Race doesn’t matter only properly placed actors

  31. don't worry

    I don’t know why people are so upset, i mean sure Zuko was east asian in the show, but Dev Patel is a really good actor, i only know him form slumdog millionaire but he was great in it for those of you who haven’t seen

  32. KenMaster

    …M. Night is a moron!! All his his movie are dumb except for Sixth Sense. Even the casting is not convincing.How the hell would you enjoy the movie,especially if you are a big fan of Avatar!

  33. ZukoFan

    Omgosh im so glad i’m not the only one who feels this way about the upcoming movie!!!However, Night M. is a talented director. Anyone who disagrees hasn’t seen “The Sixth Sense” or they’re just ignorant of his accomplishments. And really people whats all this talk about “kin” and all this racism? I mean come on get over it, were not still living in the dark ages afterall. Learn how to criticize in a mature way, without namecalling.
    The original show “Avatar the last Airbender” is one of my all time favorites. It’s the best show ever and im sure alot of people agree. But just by looking at the trailer, you can tell the movies going to be completly different from the show….What does this mean? It certainly doesn’t mean Night M. is a moron and didn’t do his research.(FYI he watched the whole series with his family) Think about it you guys!! Its all publicity. He’s going to make it seem as different as possible, different enough to cause a controversy with the fans, therefore making more people want to go see it in the theaters because theres so much hype about it. Its all about bringing people to the theaters. In a business perspective, this was a smart move for Night M….But he’s really let alot of people down. He’s taken a beloved story and twisted it into his own version of the Avatar’s journey. Hopefully it will turn out to be decent. I sincerly hope Night surprises us all, and at least presents us with some good entertainment. We’ll see in July.

    But even if they had casted it perfect, no movie could ever replace the show. Woot woot Dante Basco!!

  34. Rozina

    They need to change Zuko
    Dev Patel is ruining everything

  35. shitdavpatel

    so zuko fan, what did you think about the movie? see?
    Dev Patel ruined everything…wait…the casting was horrible…i hope they would recast.

    well…aang is alright, he did the voice of the cartoon show anyway

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