The Last Airbender universe is set to expand a bit further, with three new animated films in development, according to reports from Deadline. Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation announced the new projects during the Annecy International Film Festival. In addition, they revealed the director of the first film, Lauren Montgomery. She has previously worked on the original series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, alongside the spinoff series The Legend of Korra.
Several Avatar veterans will join her, including Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino, who co-created the series, acting as producers on the new project. Eric Coleman also joined the team and served as the executive producer and production manager for The Last Airbender series. Ramsey Naito, President of Animation & Development at both Paramount and Nickelodeon Animation, released a statement regarding their choice of direction for the forthcoming film:
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“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 for her new directing duties on the forthcoming theatrical.”
Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation’s Executive Vice President of Movies and Global Franchises, Latifa Ouaou, will oversee the animated project from development through production, alongside Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation’s Vice President of Animation, Jason McConnell.
The Avatar Airbender Universe
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In February 2021, it was announced that the Avatar Studios banner would be launched, with the goal of creating original series and movies set in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. The idea is for projects to release on Paramount+ and Nickelodeon platforms and in theaters worldwide. Nickelodeon has begun laying the groundwork for the Avatar Airbender Universe, with Avatar Studios leaders Konietzko and DiMartino noting “there are still many stories and time periods in Aang’s world” that could be covered on-screen.
A live-action adaptation of the original Last Airbender series is in the works at Netflix; however, the co-creators previously departed from the project due to creative differences. As a result, Netflix will be hoping for more success than the 2010 live-action adaptation, The Last Airbender, which received awful reviews from audiences and critics alike. M. Night Shyamalan helmed the film, with DiMartino and Konietzko initially serving as executive producers on the project. However, after they saw the butchered final product, they detached themselves from the film, citing a lack of input into the movie’s creation.
Due to the upcoming films having the original creators and crew from Avatar: The Last Airbender, fans can be optimistic that the projects will respect their source material and stay true to the original product.
Next: Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender: Plot, Cast, and Everything Else We Know