The Avatar universe is expanding. Variety reports that beloved children’s network Nickelodeon is launching a newly formed division, Avatar Studios, dedicated to creating content surrounding Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. Original series creators and executive producers Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who exited Netflix’s live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender remake due to creative differences, will lead the division as co-chief creative officers under Ramsey Naito, president of Nickelodeon Animation. Avatar Studios content will find appear on Paramount+, Nickelodeon’s linear and digital platforms, as well as third-party platforms and in theaters.
“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, president of ViacomCBS Kids & 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.”
The first project under Avatar Studios is an original animated theatrical film that’s set to start begin production this year. For the uninitiated, Avatar: The Last Airbender ran for three season on Nickelodeon from February 2005 until July 2008, winning a Peabody and Primetime Emmy awards. The series was adapted into a very maligned M. Night Shyamalan movie, a successful graphic novel, and has its own forthcoming live-action remake set to debut on Netflix. The Legend of Korra, set in the Avatar world 70 years after The Last Airbender, debuted in 2012 and ran on Nickelodeon for four seasons. Here’s hoping James Cameron doesn’t get any ideas for his own Avatar Studios.