What We Know About Netflix’s Live Action Series ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’

Avatar: The Last Air Bender - Netflix

Unless you’ve been living a rock, most Avatar: The Last Airbender fans know that Netflix has a live-action spin-off already in the works. This beloved cartoon from the early 2000s was recently released on Netflix in May, bringing nostalgia to countless fans.

This show captured the hearts of children and parents alike with its unique characters, surprisingly gritty storyline, and important themes surrounding friendship, growth, and overcoming trauma. It also does a great job paying homage to Eastern cultures and martial arts forms through the fantastical element bending displayed in the show. Not even working out twice per week at the gym can give us the abs that these 13 and 14-year-olds had.

Now that Netflix has acquired streaming rights for the original cartoon, it has quickly become one of the top series on Netflix. This isn’t surprising given that it was one of the highest-rated shows on television during its original airing. In fact, more than 5.6 million people tuned into the series finale in 2008, according to Inverse.

It makes sense that Netflix would want to further capitalize on this success by creating a live-action spin-off. After all, who wouldn’t want to see their childhood heroes reimagined in live-action form? We’re just going to keep in mind that The Last Airbender movie adaptation was quickly shunned by fans.

Here’s what we know about the live-action series so far:

It will follow the original tales of the Gaang with help from the original writers

Like its cartoon forefather, the live-action adaptation will be a television series following the original adventures of Aang and his team. To what degree is left to the imagination, but fans are likely not expecting a scene-for-scene adaptation of the original plot.

Perhaps more excitingly, Netflix has also confirmed that some of the show’s original writers will be helping to create the new show. Creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko will serve as producers and the original composer Jeremy Zuckerman is also expected to return. This is a welcome announcement after the flop of the live-action movie in which the original creators of the show were not consulted. As a result, many fans hope that the live-action will portray the series in a better light.

Even better? The producers are not going to tolerate a white-washed cast.

“We can’t wait to realize Aang’s world as cinematically as we always imagined it to be, and with a culturally appropriate, non-whitewashed cast,” explains DiMartino and Konietzko. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build upon everyone’s great work on the original animated series and go even deeper into the characters, story, action, and world-building.”

It’s the most expensive Netflix original to date

With so many fans eager for the show’s success, Netflix isn’t pulling any punches. The new live-action remake is expected to be Netflix’s most expensive show to date. Some sources have even noted that the series will rival the popularity of Netflix’s original darling Stranger Things.

Even though more than 38% of large companies are expected to exceed IT capacity within the span of 18 months, the amount of money and time they’re throwing at this project is sure to yield good results.

It’s slated to air at the end of next year

According to sources, including the site “What’s On Netflix,” we can expect to see our favorite characters hit the screens in late 2021. Though news surrounding this series has been swirling for a while, COVID-19 concerns and social distancing measures have likely extended its air date. While 60% of invoices are already paid late, we can expect COVID-19 concerns to slow down just about every aspect of television and movie production in the United States.

While “What’s On Netflix” hopes that it will be released at the end of next year, there’s no telling what the exact date will be until Netflix loosens the reigns on their tight-lipped policies. There’s an equally likely chance that the series might be pushed to the spring of 2022, much to the heartache of fans. At least we have the original series to binge and the show’s follow-up cartoon, The Legend of Korra to watch.

For now, we’ll just have to wait and see, much like Bumi when the Fire Nation invaded the City of Omashu. It’s all about timing, and Netflix knows that better than most streaming platforms.


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