The lifecycle of the Avatar isn’t over yet.
Netflix plans to revisit Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Nickelodeon animated series that spawned The Legend of Korra and a series of comics and books, in a new way. The streaming platform announced a new live-action “reimagined” series is coming to the streaming platform. The news comes with the first piece of concept art from artist John Staub of the live-action Aang and his docile, flying animal companion Appa.
The Last Airbender animated series envisioned a fantasy world of benders, individuals who could manipulate one of four natural elements: earth, air, fire, or water. Then there was the Avatar, a being capable of mastering all four elements to bring balance to the world. But when the Avatar, reincarnated into a new body after every lifecycle, vanished, the Fire Nation rose to dominate the world.
It was during this time of war where Aang, the new Avatar, was discovered in the icy tundra by a Water Nation tribe. He was dubbed “the last Airbender” due to the fact all others had thought to have been wiped out.
In the past, the words “Avatar” and “live-action” haven’t sat well with fans. M. Night Shyamalan attempted to create a live-action film based on the show with his The Last Airbender. You can tell how that all went based on the floundering ticket sales.
But this part should help quell the anxiety brewing in wary bingers: original series creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko are onboard as showrunners and executive producers. Production will start in 2019.
Avatar: The Last Airbender earned Nickelodeon numerous awards, including an Emmy and Annie award, during its airing. The network continued the story with The Legend of Korra, focusing on the next lifecycle’s Avatar. As the show appealed to both kids and adults, Korra was moved around from time slot to time slot until it landed as a strictly streaming program on Nick.com.
Konietzko and DiMartino have continued to tell stories in the Avatar world since the show ended in 2014 through comics.
“We’re thrilled for the opportunity to helm this live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender,” Konietzko and DiMartino now say in a joint statement. “We can’t wait to realize Aang’s world as cinematically as we always imagined it to be, and with a culturally appropriate, non-whitewashed cast. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build upon everyone’s great work on the original animated series and go even deeper into the characters, story, action, and world-building. Netflix is wholly dedicated to manifesting our vision for this retelling, and we’re incredibly grateful to be partnering with them.”
“We are committed to honoring Bryan and Mike’s vision for this retelling and are thrilled to support them on creating a live-action event series, bringing Aang’s epic world of elemental magic to life for global audiences on Netflix,” Melissa Cobb, the network’s vice president of Kids and Family Content, said.