Avatar: The Last Airbender animated film in the works from Avatar Studios
Sixteen years after Avatar: The Last Airbender made its successful debut, Nickelodeon has officially announced the launch of a newly formed division called Avatar Studios which will produce original content including new animated series and movies, based on the beloved of world of The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. Headed by original creators Michael Di Martino and Bryan Konietzko, the studio’s first project will be an animated theatrical film which will begin its production later this year.
Avatar Studios is expected to create content set to be released on platforms including Paramount+; on Nickelodeon’s own linear and digital platforms; and on third-party platforms and in theaters. Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who previously exited Netflix’s long-in development live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series, will helm the studio as co-chief creative officers, reporting to Ramsey Naito, President, Nickelodeon Animation.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 19 years since we created Avatar: The Last Airbender,” Konietzko and DiMartino said in a statement. “But even after all that time, there are still many stories and time periods in Aang’s world that we are eager to bring to life. We are fortunate to have an ever-growing community of passionate fans that enjoys exploring the Avatarverse as much as we do. And with this new Avatar Studios venture we have an unparalleled opportunity to develop our franchise and its storytelling on a vast scale, in myriad exciting ways and mediums. We are exceedingly grateful to Brian Robbins and Ramsey Naito for their enthusiasm and respect for the Avatar property and us as its stewards. From the start, they’ve supported our ambitious plans and created a positive, proactive environment for us. We’re excited to be back at Nickelodeon where Avatar began, doing what we do best in the biggest way possible. We can’t wait to build the great teams and productions to make all of this fantasy a reality.”
“Avatar: The Last Airbender and Korra have grown at least ten-fold in popularity since their original hit runs on Nickelodeon, and Ramsey Naito and I are incredibly excited to have Mike and Bryan’s genius talent on board to helm a studio devoted to expanding their characters and world into new content and formats for fans everywhere,” President of ViacomCBS Kids & Family, Brian Robbins said. “Creator-driven stories and characters have long been the hallmarks of Nickelodeon, and Avatar Studios is a way to give Mike and Bryan the resources and runway to open up their imaginations even more and dive deeper into the action and mythology of Avatar as we simultaneously expand upon that world and the world of content available on Paramount+ and Nickelodeon.”
The original Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series for three seasons on Nickelodeon from February 2005 to July 2008.It received substantial acclaim during its run, picking up multiple Annie Awards, Genesis Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a Peabody Award.
In the series, the world is divided into four nations — the Water Tribe, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads — each represented by a natural element for which the nation is named. Benders have the ability to control and manipulate the element from their nation. Only the Avatar is the master of all four elements. The ruthless Fire Nation wants to conquer the world but the only bender who has enough power, the Avatar, has disappeared … until now. His tribe soon discovers that Aang is the long-lost Avatar. Now Katara and Sokka must safeguard Aang on his journey to master all four elements and save the world from the Fire Nation.
Recommended Reading: Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, Part 1
Avatar: The Legend of Korra takes place 70 years after the events of Nickelodeon’s beloved animated series The Last Airbender, where it followed the adventures of Aang’s successor Korra, a passionate, rebellious, and fearless teenaged girl from the Southern Water Tribe.
Recommended Reading: The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part One
The sequel series aired for four seasons from 2012-2014. It was also met with critical acclaim as it received praise for dealing with respect to issues regarding race, gender, and sexual orientation. The Legend of Korra had also earned awards from award-giving bodies including the Daytime Emmy Award, Annie Awards, and Gracie Award.
Both properties have been translated into a successful comic book and graphic novel series. The “Avatar: The Last Airbender” graphic novel spent 70 cumulative weeks on the New York Times Graphic Novel Bestseller list, hitting number one. While the first graphic novel storyline for The Legend of Korra titled Turf Wars, has captured various Top 10 sales spots across children’s fiction, YA science fiction, and graphic novel categories since its debut in 2017.
The DVD and Blu-rays are also incredibly successful, with the Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Series generating nearly $5MM in retail sales since its 2018 release.