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The World Of Avatar: The Last Airbender Just Got A Whole Lot Bigger

Nickelodeon's Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of those shows that outright refuses to fade from pop culture. Debuting on the channel on February 21, 2005, the program found immediate success and cultivated a devoted fanbase worldwide. Despite wrapping up its run all the way back on July 19, 2008, its influence has only grown, and the program has more than earned its place as one of the greatest cartoons of all time. Unsurprisingly, this fan support led to the creation of a live-action cinematic adaptation in 2010. Simply titled The Last Airbender, director M. Night Shyamalan's attempt to condense season 1 into an hour and a half movie proved highly unpopular — as evidenced by its abysmal 5% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes.

To help make up for the butchering of the beloved series, a successor to the animated incarnation of The Last Airbender arrived on Nickelodeon shortly thereafter. The Legend of Korra, which began in 2012 and wrapped up in 2014 after four seasons, took audiences 70 years into the future, without Aang (Zach Tyler Eisen) and the gang. While popular in its own right, the series never quite reached the same highs as The Last Airbender, though through no fault of its own. 

Since Korra ended, however, the Last Airbender canon hasn't seen any new additions. Rumblings of another live-action rendition have come and gone, with nothing falling into consumer's hands. But, it appears as though the Avatar drought is coming to an end, and then some. 

Avatar Studios will take the Last Airbender property to new heights

On February 24, 2021, Deadline reported that Nickelodeon is going full steam ahead with Avatar: The Last Airbender expansions. The company announced the establishment of a new creative division, known as Avatar Studios, that will flesh out the existing canon through new animated shows and feature-length films. According to the announcement, the team will work closely with both Nickelodeon as well as the upcoming replacement for the CBS All Access streaming service, Paramount+ (the same place where the Rugrats reboot, as well as Star Trek: Prodigy, will also reside).

Both Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who created Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, and also served as executive producers, will lead the studio as the co-chief creative officers. The President of ViacomCBS Kids & Family, Brian Robbins, cited his excitement to work with the duo again, saying "Ramsey Naito [the President of Nickelodeon Animation] 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."

"Creator-driven stories and characters have long been the hallmarks of Nickelodeon," he continues, "and Avatar Studios is a way to give Mike and Bryan the resources and runway to open up their imaginations even more and dive deeper into the action and mythology of Avatar." If DiMartino and Konietzko have proven anything, it's that they're incredibly passionate about the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe, and surely their new ideas will be just as successful as their earlier ones.