Viacom announced on Wednesday, February 24, the creation of Avatar Studios, a new division that will produce content set in the world of Avatar.
One of its first projects is a new animated film that’s set for production in 2021.
The announcement of the new studio, headed by original Avatar creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, was made during ViacomCBS’s Investor Day Presentation. DiMartino and Konietzko are also co-chief creative officers and will report directly to Ramsey Naito, Nickelodeon Animation president.
Avatar: The Last Airbender aired for 3 seasons on Nickeledeon, from February 2005 to July 2008, garnering recognition from the Annie Awards, Genesis Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a Peabody Award. The sequel series, Legend of Korra, ran from 2012 to 2014.
The series is set in an “Asiatic” world where select individuals can manipulate one of the 4 elements. Only one individual at a time – the Avatar – has the ability to “bend” or control all 4 elements. The first series followed new Avatar 12-year-old Aang, while Korra followed Aang’s successor.
In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, DiMartino and Konietzko said they were excited to be back at Nickelodeon. “We can’t wait to build the great teams and productions to make all of this fantasy a reality,” they said.
“Avatar: The Last Airbender and Korra have grown at least tenfold 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,” Brian Robbins, who heads ViacomCBS Kids & Family said.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio’s content will premiere via Paramount+, ViacomCBS’s on-demand streaming service, Nickelodeon’s platforms, third-party outlets, and theaters.
The planned Netflix adaptation of the live-action adaptation of Avatar is reportedly still pushing through, with no input from DiMartino and Konietzko, who quit the project in August 2020. – with reports from Aloe Ynion/Rappler.com