Avatar: The Last Airbender To Become Live Action Netflix Series.
by Erik Amaya
Get your waterbending scrolls ready!
In one of the more surprising turns this week, Netflix quietly announced the return of Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. But instead of continuing Aang’s adventures as the Avatar in a fourth season of animation, the new series will be a live action adaptation. According to Indiewire, creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko will return as executive producers and showrunners on the new series.
Avatar: The Last Airbender debuted in 2005 and told the tale of Aang, an member of the Air Nomads who also happened to be that generation’s Avatar; a being who can control all four elements via martial arts. But Aang flees from the role and ends up allowing the aggressive Fire Nation to dominate the world in his absence. A hundred years later, Aang is discovered in a block of ice by two young people from the Southern Water Tribe. The three set out to correct Aang’s mistake as he finally embraces being the Avatar and learns the other elemental disciplines.
The series spawned a sequel, The Legend of Korra, a number of comic books and an ill-fated feature film adaptation from director M. Night Shyamalan. The film’s mistakes included an attempt to adapt the first season into one 2-hour film, a misreading of the season’s most important story points, and a predominately white cast playing characters definitely not intended to be white.
In a statement issued today, Di Martino and Konietzko vowed things will be different this time. “We can’t wait to realize Aang’s world as cinematically as we always imagined it to be, and with a culturally appropriate, non-whitewashed cast,” the pair said. They added the new series will allow them the room to “go even deeper into the characters, story, action, and world-building” than before. And considering the impressive amount of character, story, action and world-building the original animated series pulled off, the live action version will have to meet a very high bar.
Avatar: The Last Airbender will begin production next year.