A new Avatar: The Last Airbender animated movie is in the works, but what can fans of the franchise expect from it? News has arrived of the development of Avatar Studios by Nickelodeon, which will create new stories set within the Avatar world. The new animated movie will be the production house’s first endeavor, with series creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino on board.
Debuting on Nickelodeon in 2005, Avatar: The Last Airbender ran for three seasons and spawned a subsequent sequel show, The Legend of Korra. Despite having wrapped up over a decade ago, Avatar‘s popularity hasn’t diminished in the slightest, the show having conquered Netflix after being added last summer. If that doesn’t signal the hunger for more adventures with Team Avatar, nothing will.
Fans of Avatar are obviously elated by the news of the franchise’s continuation, as well as Konietzko and DiMartino’s direct involvement with it. However, at this early stage, details about what the new Avatar movie will be, and what looks to be following on its heels, are still a little scarce and require some speculation. Here’s everything currently known about the new Avatar animated film.
The new Avatar movie is set to begin production sometime in 2021. With the ongoing popularity of the Avatar franchise, coupled with the founding of Avatar Studios itself, it’s very likely seen as a high priority by Nickelodeon. That said, this being an animated film, it’s naturally going to be a very time-consuming endeavor for all involved. Audiences can most likely expect the untitled Avatar animated movie to arrive either in late 2022 or early to mid 2023.
The announcement of the new Avatar film has been accompanied by news of a broader expansion of the franchise. With Avatar‘s story having long-since continued in graphic novel form, it’s not entirely clear whether the new film will be a direct sequel to season 3 or something else. The Legend of Korra had showed glimpses of Team Avatar as adults in the founding of Republic City, which could be a great area for the new movie to focus on. Past Avatars like Kyoshi or Szeto could also be the focus, or the film could simply zero in on a new Avatar altogether. In any case, exactly what the new Avatar movie will be is understandably taking a back seat to the excitement that it’s happening, so the world will have to wait and see exactly what it has in store.
As mentioned above, the new film is also part of a larger franchise expansion by Avatar Studios, Konietzko, and DiMartino, so its likely that other projects will shift away from Aang and Korra and focus on other Avatars or other characters in the world itself, a Zuko-centric spinoff being one of the more obvious possibilities. The elephant in the room is what relationship this will all have to Netflix’s upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action reboot, and the short answer is really none. Konietzko and DiMartino’s dissatisfaction with the reboot’s direction was what led them to walk away and arguably factored into the development of Avatar Studios. Essentially, the Avatar Studios and Netflix projects are clearly removed from one another, so the story of one isn’t going to impact the other in any meaningful way. Avatar Studios and its upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender film will be its own distinct entity, with the official announcement indicating it’s only the beginning.