Avatar: The Last Airbender will return for three new animated films – with the original series’ creators attached to the projects.
Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino, who created the original animated series for Nickelodeon, will produce the series of films alongside EP Eric Coleman. The films mark a joint venture between Nickelodeon and Paramount Animation.
Lauren Montgomery will direct the first film. She previously worked on both the Avatar: The Last Airbender series and sequel series Legend of Korra.
“As original creators Mike and Bryan expand the Avatar universe with us, we’re keeping it all in the family with Lauren bringing the same kind of expert, beautiful work she did on the original series to her new directing duties on the forthcoming theatrical,” said Ramsey Naito, President of Animation & Development at Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation.
In addition to her work within the ATLA franchise, Montgomery’s credits include Voltron: Legendary Defender, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, and Young Justice.
Avatar: The Last Airbender ran for three seasons on Nickelodeon between 2005 and 2008. Its popularity ultimately led to the production of Legend of Korra, which aired for four seasons ending in 2014.
Currently, streaming giant Netflix is working on their own ATLA project: a live-action series. Konietzko and DiMartino were originally attached to the Netflix project, but later cut ties with the upcoming series.
“Netflix said that it was committed to honoring our vision for this retelling and to supporting us on creating the series. Unfortunately, things did not go as we had hoped,” said DiMartino in an open letter on social media. “I realized I couldn’t control the creative direction of the series, but I could control how I responded. So, I chose to leave the project.”
Well, it looks like Konietzko and DiMartino did find a way to continue Avatar: The Last Airbender in a way that aligned with their creative vision… just not at Netflix.
Paramount and Nickelodeon didn’t specify a potential release window for the films. So, check back to THS for more updates.