Avatar: The Last Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko may have left the live-action Airbender series on Netflix, but it looks like they have rightfully traded up to be the head of an entire franchise.
As per Entertainment Weekly, DiMartino and Konietzko have teamed up with Nickelodeon to launch Avatar Studios, a new division that will focus on creating original content based in the world of Avatar. DiMartino and Konietzko are attached to the studio as co-chief creative officers, and they will be in charge of spreading Avatar out on multiple mediums; the first project that has been announced by the studio is an animated theatrical film that is set to begin production this year.
In a joint statement, the duo said:
“… With this new Avatar Studios venture we have an unparalleled opportunity to develop our franchise and its storytelling on a vast scale, in myriad exciting ways and mediums… We are exceedingly grateful to [Nickelodeon president] Brian Robbins and [president of Nickelodeon Animation] Ramsey Naito for their enthusiasm and respect for the Avatar property and us as its stewards. From the start, they’ve supported our ambitious plans and created a positive, proactive environment for us.”
I’m already excited for Avatar to continue as a franchise. With its multi-generational appeal and expansive world, it has every potential to become a property as big as Star Wars; too bad Netflix just couldn’t agree with Konietzko and DiMartino when they were working on their live-action series. If Avatar Studios were to make a live-action property though, I think it should just be one big-budget film telling its own story; it can even focus on an adult Team Avatar, rather than just retelling what we got in the original series.
No release date has been set for this Avatar movie yet, but I’m hoping we get some more incoming projects announced soon.