The Avatar is Reborn Once More!
Netflix is once more stepping up its game. Realizing it’s losing most of its Disney titles, save for its original shows from the Daredevil universe, and will now be competing against even larger streaming giants like Disney and DC, as well as old foes like Hulu and Amazon, Netflix is really stepping up its original titles game. On top of relaunches of older movies classics such as The Dark Crystal, Netflix has now announced it’s launching a live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender show for its site.
Avatar was one of the greatest anime/cartoon shows ever made. It had richly developed storytelling and great character development. It lasted three years because that was how long the story was that needed to be told.
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Hollywood attempted to capitalize on the fan favorite back in 2010 when Director M. Knight Shyamalan failed miserably attempting to make a movie of the source material. As Luke Skywalker might say, “Amazing. Every part of that movie was wrong.” Everything Shyamalan could do wrong, he did. From poor storytelling, bad casting, bad scripting, to trying to reinvent names and characters, all went dreadfully wrong. Shyamalan’s attempt left such a disgusting taste in the mouths of fans, the movie was buried.
It would taint this project as well except Netflix is bringing back original creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko to be executive producers and show runners. Production is scheduled to begin next year and will still be in partnerships with Nickelodeon.
One of the hundreds of reasons the Shyamalan movie failed so horribly was that he tried to shove the entire 20-episode, 30-minute, first season into 1 hr, 43 minutes. The characters and story lost all its depth, quality and uniqueness. Since this will be a series of unknown length, they can not only keep the depth and individual storytelling to the same quality, they can expand even further. Even the group pet, Momo, received its own episodes.
What will be interesting to see is will Michael and Bryan simply retell the same story, just in live action (AKA-Beauty and the Beast)? Or will they take parts of the story in different directions to add something new and fun, more like Cinderella. As long as they cast the right characters and get the personalities at least similar, I doubt we have much to fear. Recasting Mako as Uncle Iroh will be difficult. One thing that has already been mentioned is they will not white wash the cast. Characters from the series were from all over and represented nearly every race, so will the casting.
For those who have not seen the Avatar: The last Airbender cartoon, it is a must watch. It told stories and developed such rich characters that stick with you. There was a character almost anyone could identify with. While good is largely good in this cartoon, bad isn’t always as bad as one might think. Then again at times – its worse. Then again just put this on your must watch list when it comes out. Either way this is exciting news!