On March 4, ViacomCBS’s new streaming service, Paramount+, went live. To go along with its release, Nickelodeon announced the creation of Avatar Studios. The project centers around the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” world, which has proven to be incredibly successful.
The show has already produced multiple graphic novels as well as a film adaptation directed by M. Night Shyamalan which came out in 2010.
The Avatar universe features four distinct groups of “benders,” people who can control fire, wind, earth and air. The Avatar is the one person who is capable of bending all four elements. The tensions between each sect of benders cause the conflicts in the show.
Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko are leading the first production, a feature-length, animated film. DiMartino and Konietzko created the original series, which ran from 2005 to 2008. The show already has one spinoff, “The Legend of Korra”. “The Legend of Korra” ran from 2012 to 2014.
“We are in the early stages of developing and exploring what we are calling an entire Avatar Airbender universe,” said Brian Robbins, the president of Nickelodeon, in an interview with Deadline. “Mike and Bryan are hard at work, and I think that universe will encompass definitely a theatrical film, animation, certainly multiple TV series and probably multiple films. I think we will be ready very soon to tell the world what is coming first but we are not there yet because we’re in early stages of creative development.”
While Nickelodeon has big plans for the Avatar universe, a film adaptation of the series is in production at Netflix. This adaptation is being done without consultation from DiMartino or Konietzko. Robbins said that this film is one of few projects that will not go directly to ViacomCBS properties.
Both “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “The Legend of Korra” are available to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Paramount+ with subscriptions.