Popular Nickelodeon animated cartoon series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, is getting what seems to be a lifeline in terms of live-action adaptation after Netflix approved a series for the cartoon.
Created by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, Avatar: The Last Airbender premiered on Nickelodeon in 2003 and ran for three seasons through 2008. The stories of the characters continued on in comic book form as well as in the spinoff series The Legend of Korra – the latter of which ran on Nickelodeon from 2012 to 2014.
The show first got a live-action adaptation in 2010 with The Last Airbender movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan. A movie that was really bashed and got one of the worst reviews from critics.
Avatar: The Last Airbender TV show will be set in the same world as the animated cartoons. A world split into four nations, each populated by benders: Earthbenders, Waterbenders, Firebenders and Airbenders. The series focuses on a young Airbender named Aang, who becomes the Avatar – A once-in-a-generation bender who can bend the four elements. Over the course of three seasons, Aang masters the other elements all while a war wages in the world, with the Fire Nation looking to conquer the other nations.
Netflix announced today that a “reimagined” live-action take on Avatar: The Last Airbender is in the works for the streaming service, with Konietzko and DiMartino returning as showrunners. Production on the show will start next year, with Nickelodeon co-producing the series. Further, Netflix released early concept art created John Staub, which can be seen below.
Konietzko and DiMartino released a statement on the project, assuring fans the characters won’t be whitewashed and praising Netflix for the streamer’s support in the live-action show. Read the statement in full below.
We’re thrilled for the opportunity to helm this live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender. 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.