Good news for fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender as Nickelodeon announced the franchise is set to get even bigger.
Nickelodeon is establishing Avatar Studios, a division designed to create original content spanning animated series and movies based on the franchise’s world.
The original creators and executive producers Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have signed up to run the studio as co-chief creative officers, reporting to Ramsey Naito, President, Nickelodeon Animation.
The first project is an animated theatrical film that is set to start production later this year.
“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, 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,” he added.
Avatar Studios will produce content for platforms including Paramount+ and Nickelodeon as well as third-party platforms and theatrical releases.
The live-action version of the original hit Avatar: The Last Airbender was first ordered at Netflix in September 2018. By August 2020, creators DiMartino and Konietzko had left the project after two years of development work. According to DiMartino, things with the streaming platform didn’t work out after the partners had signed on to make the series because Netflix was committed to working with them on their vision for the show.