Avatar: The Last Airbender Gets Its Own Studio for Spinoff Content, Including Animated Movie
In the name of Bisexual Avatar Kyoshi, the Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise lives!
Last night, news dropped that Avatar: The Last Airbender creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko will run a new studio, Avatar Studio, committed to the creation of works in the universe of Avatar Aang and Avatar Korra.
In an exclusive statement to Entertainment Weekly, the creators expressed their excitement to “develop our franchise and its storytelling on a vast scale, in myriad exciting ways and mediums.”
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 19 years since we created Avatar: The Last Airbender. But even after all that time, there are still many stories and time periods in Aang’s world that we are eager to bring to life. We are fortunate to have an ever-growing community of passionate fans that enjoys exploring the Avatarverse as much as we do.
“And with this new Avatar Studios venture we have an unparalleled opportunity to develop our franchise and its storytelling on a vast scale, in myriad exciting ways and mediums. We are exceedingly grateful to [Nickelodeon president] Brian Robbins and [president of Nickelodeon Animation] Ramsey Naito for their enthusiasm and respect for the Avatar property and us as its stewards. From the start, they’ve supported our ambitious plans and created a positive, proactive environment for us
“We’re excited to be back at Nickelodeon where Avatar began, doing what we do best in the biggest way possible. We can’t wait to build the great teams and productions to make all of this fantasy a reality.”
This is big news, and EW reports that their first project is an animated film! The last time we heard from Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko about something A:TLA related was them dropping out of the live-action adaptation that is in the works at Netflix—a live-action production awash with rumors of weird age changes and flipping of dynamics, which makes me side-eye a lot of things.
When they left, DiMartino specifically said:”In a joint announcement for the series, Netflix said that it was committed to honoring our vision for this retelling and to supporting us on creating the series. And we expressed how excited we were for the opportunity to be at the helm. Unfortunately, things did not go as we had hoped.”
It has always been unclear what those dashed hopes were, but it will certainly become clear as we move forward. Still, my excitement is primed for this. Avatar was one of my first fandoms; it was such an important part of my growing up. While I was disappointed in the first part of Korra, it has become a treasured series, as well, for giving the BIPOC bisexual excellence that is Korrasami.
Which brings me to one of my two hopes for this studio. One: that they will bring in Asian and Asian-American talent both behind the scenes and in the voice acting department. Two: that Nickelodeon will embrace the LGBTQ universe that the creators made.
Korrasami is a groundbreaking bisexual ship. In the comics, Kya, the daughter of Aang and Katara, is a confirmed lesbian, and Avatar Kyoshi is bisexual in the novels.
Animated shows from The Owl House to She-Ra to Kipo have been at the forefront of the openly queer representation, a door that Bryke kicked open slightly so others could break it down. Now it is time to continue with the normalization.
(via EW, image: Nickelodeon)
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