Nickelodeon’s Avatar Studios launches; New animated film production underway

Chloe Ward, Reporter

     Earth, water, fire, and air reunite once again in the expansion of beloved Nickelodeon franchise, “Avatar the Last Airbender”. Avatar Studios was recently developed, led by the original creators, leaving fans to wonder what is to come.

Avatar was an animated fantasy series on Nickelodeon in 2005, introducing a world where people can “bend” one of the four elements to their will, like magic. In this universe, there is one person who can control all the elements, and the series follows his journey on bringing peace among the warring nations. The series finished after three seasons, and was well received by ages.  A live action adaptation directed by M. Night Shyamalan was released without the involvement of creators on the animated team, and inevitably received almost completely negative reviews from critics and fans. Memes spread across the internet quickly denouncing the movie and even denying it’s existence. This has lead to fear of new adaptations not being loyal to the source material.

The 60 episode series gained a resurgence in popularity on Netflix after being released on the platform in May 2020, bringing in a new generation of viewers. It broke records, remaining at number one on their chart for over 60 consecutive days. Netflix quickly began production of a new live action that Summer, but original creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko did not like the direction it was taking, so left the project, much to the disappointment of awaiting fans.

However, there is a silver lining, they will be running the new studio as co-chief creative officers, ensuring the story will be expanded in the direction they choose. DiMartino has a running Avatar graphic novel series as well, which may inspire future projects.

As of now, most voice actors will also be returning, hinted by recent reunions at several conventions and shows, including a virtual reunion for SYFY, a cable channel covering the new live action rumors.

While there is fear amongst some returning fans, Junior Kyle Fannin is optimistic. He watched it in Elementary and Middle school with his siblings on Nickelodeon, so he is counting on high nostalgia in future additions. “I hope for the new movie to be as close to the old show as possible,” he says, along with including realistic stunts and as entertaining of a plot.