Avatar: The Last Airbender ended its three-season run in 2008. Now over a decade later the franchise is thriving. The animated series, as well as The Legend of Korra (set in the same world), came to Netflix in 2020. Netflix is making a live-action Avatar series. We’re getting an Avatar roleplaying game. And we’re also getting three Avatar: The Last Airbender animated film. Can you imagine seeing the four nations on the big screen?
Recently, we learned that the first of these movies will focus on none other than everyone’s favorite Avatar, Aang, and also star the rest of Team Avatar.
This will come as exciting news to fans who love the original group, also known affectionately as The Gaang. It sounds like the new animated Avatar movie will feature Aang, and, we assume, Katara, Sokka, Suki, Toph, and Zuko as young adults. There’s certainly a lot to mine there. The original Avatar: The Last Airbender series is one of the most beloved ever, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that this movie only enhances that love.
And that isn’t all.
This animated films are part of a bigger program; Nickelodeon launched Avatar Studios. From their press release, Avatar Studios is “a newly formed division designed to create original content spanning animated series and movies based on the beloved world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra.”
The series’ creators and executive producers Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko will helm this new studio as co-chief creative officers, which is fantastic news.
It seemingly took Nickelodeon a while to recognize the franchise’s popularity. I imagine seeing the response to Avatar and Korra on streaming in 2020 only helped pave the path to Avatar Studios. DiMartino and Konietzko will dive even deeper into Avatar’s mythology and provide content for Nickelodeon and Paramount+. We’re unsure of where this leaves Netflix’s live-action series. As of August 2020, DiMartino and Konietzko stepped away from that project. We assume it is still moving forward, but it feels a little weird considering this new division at Nickelodeon is focusing on all things Avatar all the time.
Aang’s world is about to expand beyond our imagining, and we can’t wait to see further exploration of this rich world. We’ll get the animated film first; it’s set to begin production in 2021.
Originally Published on February 24, 2021.
Amy Ratcliffe is the Managing Editor for Nerdist and the author of The Jedi Mind, available now. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.