Nickelodeon Announces Avatar Studios, Plans to Make More Shows AND Movies in ‘Avatar’ Universe

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Nickelodeon has recently announced Avatar Studios, a new content division that will expand the universe and franchise of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and its spin-off “The Legend of Korra.”

More than 16 years after “Avatar” first premiered, Avatar Studios will produce new movies and TV shows based on the hit animated series, according to Variety

Its first release will be an original animated film. Production will reportedly start this year, and the film will premiere in theaters as well as on platforms such as Paramount+.  

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Michael Dante DiMartino, one of the creators of “Avatar,” announced that he will be returning to Nickelodeon as a co-chief creative officer of Avatar Studios alongside Bryan Konietzko, his “Avatar” co-creator. DiMartino shared his excitement through his various social media accounts on Thursday. 

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 19 years since we created Avatar: The Last Airbender. 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… 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.”

This recent announcement comes months after DiMartino and Konietzko revealed they would no longer be working on Netflix’s live-action adaptation of “Avatar.” The pair first started working on the project in 2018 but left due to creative differences with the streaming service, as NextShark previously reported.

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In an open letter to “Avatar” fans, DiMartino briefly mentioned issues he and Konietzko faced while working with Netflix: “In a joint announcement for the series, Netflix said that it was committed to honoring our vision for this retelling and to supporting us on creating the series. And we expressed how excited we were for the opportunity to be at the helm. Unfortunately, things did not go as we had hoped. Look, things happen. Productions are challenging. Unforeseen events arise. Plans have to change.”

More than seven months later, DiMartino surprised fans worldwide with his Avatar Studios announcement. Social media users took to online platforms such as Twitter to share their excitement, hopes and ideas for future Avatar Studios projects.

“Avatar,” which first aired on Nickelodeon in 2005, follows the journey of a young monk named Aang who must master the four elements to save the world from the Fire Nation with his friends Katara, Sokka and Toph. The show won several awards, from a Primetime Emmy Award and a Peabody Award to multiple Annie Awards and Genesis Awards.

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“The Legend of Korra,” a spin-off of “Avatar” set 70 years in the future, premiered in 2012. In “Korra,” a 17-year-old successor of Avatar Aang must also master the four elements, this time to save Republic City and the rest of the world from spiritual and political unrest.

Feature Image via Avatar: The Last Airbender (left), @mike_dante_d (right)

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