'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Universe Set to Expand at Nickelodeon
After its resurgence on Netflix, Avatar: The Last Airbender is looking to expand its universe past the original series and its spinoff, The Legend of Korra, by embracing a brand new venture.
The franchise has earned its own division launched by ViacomCBS, Avatar Studios, which will create and produce new content pertaining specifically to the Avatar brand. New series and movie projects will source from the emerging studio that will position Avatar: The Last Airbender co-creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko to be co-creative chief officers. Avatar: The Last Airbender concluded in 2008, and garnered a loyal and dedicated fanbase while on the air.
"Avatar: The Last Airbender and Korra have grown at least tenfold 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," Brian Robins, ViacomCBS Kids & Family president 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."
It is assumed that properties created by Avatar Studios will not align itself with the Netflix live-action Avatar adaptation that was announced in 2018. In August 2020, DiMartino and Konietzko announced their departure from the streaming service's version of their animated series. "Mike and I are collaborative people; we did not need all the ideas to come from us. As long as we felt those ideas were in line with the spirit and integrity of Avatar, we would have happily embraced them," Konietzko said in a comment about the choice to leave Netflix's series. "However, we ultimately came to the belief that we would not be able to meaningfully guide the direction of the series."
Avatar Studios will use Paramont+ as their debutal platform, and the streaming service is to launch on March 4, 2021. However, the studio won't limit themselves just to Paramount+ - they will streamline their projects through Nickelodeon on television and through other digital entities. Third party outlets and theaters will also have a fair share of distrbuting Avatar Studios' shows and movies. After The Legend of Korra concluded in 2014, fans of the Avatar series have been asking for more stories from the Avatar universe. With the announcement of Avatar Studios on its way, it looks like there will be more to come.