Fans still fondly remember Avatar: The Last Airbender, which aired on Nickelodeon from 2005-2008. Filled to the brim with fleshed-out characters, a unique Asian-inspired fantasy world, and an interesting magic system based on Eastern martial arts, Avatar: The Last Airbender captured the hearts of old and young viewers alike and ended its three-year run with a four-part series finale. Since then the world of Avatar has continued forward, expanding further with comic books, video games, and a direct sequel that began in 2012. News of another installment in the beloved franchise has been nonexistent until today.
Netflix has just given fans a huge piece of news about the future of Avatar. In a recent tweet to their “See What’s Next” Twitter page, Netflix has stated that they are currently working on a brand new live-action reimagining of Avatar: The Last Airbender. And this isn’t all they had to say either. The Twitter page “NX on Netflix” commented on the original tweet and said that the original series creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino will be returning as showrunners for this new series.
There’s not much else known about the upcoming series. We do know that there’s a greater push for a more diverse cast, but besides that, there’s no real news as to how the show will look or what it will be about. It appears to be an adaptation of sorts of the original Avatar series, but just what that entails is unknown. The show could be trying for a more serious and darker tone similar to what Konietzko and DiMartino did in their sequel Avatar: The Legend of Korra, or it might try for a blend of mature themes and light-hearted fun similar to the original Avatar. It’s also unclear how the show will be broken up. In the first Avatar there were three 20+ episode seasons, but with the show being on Netflix DiMartino and Konietzko may set up the show for viewers to binge-watch, with several smaller seasons released periodically designed to be viewed in a short amount of time.
Many fans may be excited for an adaptation of this show, but many others have pause for concern. Even though some spin-offs and continuations in the franchise were well-received, not everything was accepted. In 2010 writer/director M. Night Shyamalan attempted to bring the Avatar world to the big screen with a theatrical interpretation entitled The Last Airbender, but the movie was panned by both casual moviegoers and diehard fans for its weak characters, awkward cinematography and rushed story. With this new show being a live-action adaptation similar to Shyamalan’s movie there are many who are very cautious about this new show, and rightfully so. If Konietzko and DiMartino are unable to recapture the magic that made the original so much fun and instead recreate The Last Airbender for fans around the world, then such a loss might spell the end for the franchise as a whole.
There are many who feel that the franchise stumbled when they made Avatar: The Legend of Korra, as it contradicted elements set forth in Avatar: The Last Airbender and went for a darker tone that some felt didn’t fit the series as a whole. And since Konietzko and DiMartino were helming that show as well, there are some who are nervous at this news. However, these two were also the ones who created the original show and built a large franchise around the property, so hopefully they’ve learned many hard lessons from Korra that they can take with them into this new production. If they’re able to reignite that spark that made Avatar so much fun to watch, with layers for both kids and adults to enjoy, then Netflix may be looking at another successful franchise under their belt.
Have you seen the original Avatar: The Last Airbender? What are your thoughts on this new adaptation? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below. To stay tuned for updates on further developments Subscribe by Email.
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