New movies and series in the ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ universe confirmed

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The world was introduced to a bald 12-year-old with the fate of the world in his hands on Feb. 21, 2005.

Running for three seasons over the course of three years, “Avatar: The Last Airbender” gained a massive following. The philosophical–and at times dark–themes combined with witty humor resonated deeply with audiences.

“I have a deep nostalgia for it and it really shifted my childhood,” said forensic biology major Dorian Brindle.

Following the end of the show, the “Avatar” universe grew with ‘The Legend of Korra,” which expanded into the future with the next Avatar and included even more complex themes. Comic book series were also released. Some followed Aang and his friends after the defeat of Firelord Ozai (the main antagonist of the series), and some told the stories of secondary characters or even previous avatars.

And of course, there was the infamous 2010 live-action movie.

“It was horrible, it should have never been made,” said Zoe Wang, a sophomore at the Early College at Guilford.

Infamous for its terrible representation of the cultures the show drew inspiration from, and even worse acting and special effects, the movie is hated by Avatar fans across the board. Many criticize ‘The Legend of Korra,” but none will praise the original live-action movie.

Now there is confirmation of a new Netflix live-action series, headed by Albert Kim. The drama around this live-action project is that the original executive producers of the show, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, dropped out of the show due to “creative differences,” according to a blog post written by DiMartino.

Many question the integrity of the series in terms of aligning with the original series, and still have reservations following the previous live-action movie.

“The last ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ live-action sucked and I hated it, so if they can at least do better than that I feel like I’ll be on board,” said Brindle.

But this isn’t to say that the original producers don’t have something else in the works. DiMartino and Konietzko will be working under a new “Avatar Studios” within Paramount Plus to create three animated films, to be released in 2024, 2025 and 2026. Originally, the first of the films was meant to follow Avatar Kyoshi, but there have been rumors of the plot of the movie changing to follow the Gaang, Avatar Aang and his friends.

With the original series being released at a time when many college students were the target audience, Guilford College has no shortage of “ATLA” fans.

Environmental Studies major Roman Robinson described it as “the greatest animated childhood show of all time.” Robinson discovered the show as a teen during its brief time on Netflix a few years ago.

“The show is complex enough to reach the minds of adults, but also remains simplistic enough to appeal to children,” he said.

Like many others, he looks forward to seeing where the new series and movies may go in terms of building onto pre-existing lore.

“I am interested to see how they will adapt the storyline to create a new quest and how they will convey the bending of the elements visually,” Robinson said.