Nickelodeon recently announced the launch of “Avatar Studios,” a newly developed division whose mission is to create original content that resides in the Avatar world. Avatar Studios will be the home to original animated series and movies that will be set in the same universe as “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and its sequel series, “The Legend of Korra.”
The mastermind behind the original series and its female-led sequel, Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, will serve as co-chief creative officers of Avatar Studios. They will report to Ramsey Naito, President of Nickelodeon Animation, Deadline reports.
For Nickelodeon and its parent company, ViacomCBS, obtaining exclusive Avatar content is a huge stepping stone for ViacomCBS’s newest streaming service, ParamountPlus. Avatar Studio will be producing content for the streaming service, as well as Nickelodeon and third party platforms.
Initially, the company’s business move is to license out of a number of its shows and films non-exclusively. When Avatar and Legend of Korra returned to Netflix, there is a chance subscribers associated the show with the streaming service. Avatar the last Airbender became the most watch show on Netflix in May 2020
“Avatar: The Last Airbender” is an American-animated series that follows the adventures of the main protagonist, Aang who is the last Airbender, and his friends. Together, they must save the world by defeating Fire Lord Ozai and the ending the 100 year war with the Fire Nation. The series ran for 3 seasons between 2005 and 2008.
The series was followed with a 2012 sequel, “The Legend of Korra,” which is set 70 years after the story of Aang, follows the next Avatar, a female from the Southern Water Tribe named Korra and her friends as she battles foes on both a spiritual and political level. The first season drew in a fandom of 3.8 million viewers per episode, the highest numbers for an animated series in the 2012 television series, according to a report from Variety.
“’Avatar: The Last Airbender’ and ‘Korra’ have grown at least ten-fold in popularity since their original hit runs on Nickelodeon, and Ramsey Naito and I are incredibly excited to have Mike and Bryan’s genius talent on board to helm a studio devoted to expanding their characters and world into new content and formats for fans everywhere,” said Brian Robbins, who serves as president of ViacomCBS Kids and Family. “Creator-driven stories and characters have long been the hallmarks of Nickelodeon, and Avatar Studios is a way to give Mike and Bryan the resources and runway to open up their imaginations even more and dive deeper into the action and mythology of Avatar as we simultaneously expand upon that world and the world of content available on Paramount+ and Nickelodeon.”
Netflix is currently working on a live-action version of the original avatar series without the help of DiMartino and Konietzko. The Netflix series was first ordered in 2018. In August 2020, both creators exited out of the project due to creative differences. The Netflix series will not have any connection to Avatar Studios as of now.
Avatar Studio’s first project is an animated theatrical film that is reportedly set to start production later in the 2021 year.