Paramount and Nickelodeon are bringing back just what the world needs most: three animated “Avatar: The Last Airbender” films to continue the beloved franchise.
The films are in development at Nickelodeon’s Avatar Studios, which was formed in February 2021 to create movies and shows set in the same universe as “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and its sequel “The Legend of Korra.” The announcement was made at Annecy International Animation Film Festival on Wednesday, though no details have been shared about any of the films’ plots.
The creators of the acclaimed show, Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino, are set to produce the upcoming films alongside original executive producer Eric Coleman. Lauren Montgomery, a storyboard artist for the original show, is also set to helm the next films, which are yet to be titled.
“As original creators Mike and Bryan expand the ‘Avatar’ universe with us, we’re keeping it all in the family with Lauren bringing the same kind of expert, beautiful work she did on the original series to her new directing duties on the forthcoming theatrical,” said Ramsey Naito, President of Animation & Development at Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation.
Konietzko and DiMartino’s names were initially attached to a live-action adaptation of “The Last Airbender,” which is currently in production at Netflix, until the two announced in 2020 that they were leaving due to creative differences.
“When Netflix brought me on board to run this series alongside Mike two years ago, they made a very public promise to support our vision,” Konietzko shared at the time on Instagram. “Unfortunately, there was no follow-through on that promise.”
News of their departure rattled the “Avatar” fanbase, who’d already held little hope that a live-action adaptation would meet the high expectations set by the source material after M. Night Shyamalan’s disastrous 2010 movie attempt.
This time around, it seems the creators will have greater control over the expansion of the franchise as the two serve as co-chief creative officers for Avatar Studios just under Naito.
The upcoming trilogy will be distributed on Paramount Plus and Nickelodeon platforms, unspecified third-party platforms and in theaters.