Avatar: The Last Airbender is getting three new animated movies
The Avatar animated series is beloved by fans
Avatar: The Last Airbender has a cartoon series and a live-action movie. Now, the two forms are colliding, as the show is getting three new animated films.
The Avatar franchise – not the James Cameron one – is an incredibly popular one. With two great animated series’, and a not-so-great live-action movie, the demand for more Avatar content has remained strong since the franchise first arrived in 2005.
Now, fans can feel satiated for a while, as three new animated Avatar movies are in the works at Paramount and Nickelodeon. Paramount made the announcement this week at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
These upcoming films will be based on the Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender. The series is an anime-adjacent cartoon which follows a young boy called Aang, as he travels across the globe while learning to master the elements – meaning that he can wield water, earth, fire, and air. The boy, who happens to be Avatar – aka the world’s messiah -has a tragic past, and an even more dangerous future, as he must face off against the imperialistic Fire Nation and its terrifying dictator, the Fire Lord.
Why are they making three new movies?
The series spawned a spin-off in the form of The Legend of Korra, along with a live-action adaptation by M. Night Shyamalan that fans would very much like to forget.
Now, the franchise is focusing on creating a live-action show with Netflix, which already has all of its main characters cast, and was reported by Deadline to have started production in Vancouver as of late last year.
However, the co-creators of The Last Airbender – Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino – have stepped away from the live-action series, with DiMartino stating in a blog post that, “whatever version ends up on-screen, it will not be what Bryan and I had envisioned or intended to make.”
This may be why three new animated features are in the works; to compete with the live-action series.
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Who is making The Last Airbender animated movies?
Unlike with the live-action series, Konietzko and DiMartino are on board with this project, as they will be producing the movies with Eric Coleman. The films are in development under the newly formed company’s banner, Avatar Studios, which intends to keep creating original content based in the Avatar world.
Lauren Montgomery, who worked on The Last Airbender, will be directing the first still-untitled film, though it’s unclear if she will direct the other two.
As opposed to the live-action team being integrated with Netflix – Ramsey Naito, president of animation & development at Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation – had this to say about the animated film’s team:
“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 to her new directing duties on the forthcoming theatrical.”
What will the new Last Airbender animated films be about?
No details have been shared about the film’s plot, so fans can only speculate. Will the films cover a new Avatar like Legend of Korra did? Will the films focus on Aang’s life after he defats the Fire Nation, like the spin-off comics did?
Whatever happens in the upcoming trilogy, it’s probably best to start re-watching the original series in order to prepare for it.
Avatar: The Last Airbender is available for streaming on Paramount+