Nickelodeon has unveiled Avatar Studios, a newly formed division designed to create original content spanning the animated series and movies based on the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra.
Original creators and executive producers Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko will head up the studio as co-chief creative officers, reporting to Ramsey Naito, president, Nickelodeon Animation. The Studio’s output will appear on platforms including Paramount, ViacomCBS’ subscription video on-demand service; on Nickelodeon’s own linear and digital platforms; as well as on third-party platforms and in cinemas. An animated film is set to begin production this year.
“Avatar: The Last Airbender and Korra have grown at least ten-fold 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,” said Brian Robbins, president, ViacomCBS Kids & Family. “Creator-driven stories and characters have long been the hallmarks of Nickelodeon, 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 as we simultaneously expand upon that world and the world of content available on Paramount+ and Nickelodeon.”
Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender aired for three seasons originally on Nickelodeon, where it began in February 2005 and concluded in July 2008. The series follows the adventures of the main protagonist Aang and his friends, who must save the world by defeating Fire Lord Ozai and ending the destructive war with the Fire Nation.
Avatar: The Last Airbender emerged from its initial three seasons (61 episodes) as one of the most beloved animated properties in history. The Legend of Korra launched in April 2012 on Nickelodeon and ran for four seasons (52 episodes). Its first season premiered as basic cable’s number one kid’s show and drew 3.8m viewers per episode, the highest for an animated series that year. Set in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender 70 years later, The Legend of Korra follows the journey of Avatar Korra, a 17-year-old girl striving to live up to the legacy of her predecessor Avatar Aang, while using her mastery of all four elements to confront political and spiritual unrest in a modernizing world.
“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,” said Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino. “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.”