Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Netflix’s Live-Action 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Series Reportedly Dialling Back Age Changes

Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Nickelodeon’s hit animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender sparked concern amongst fans last summer when original creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino departed the show over “creative differences.” The move was followed by reports that Netflix planned to make changes to the original series, most notably altering the ages of certain main characters. Some fans were also concerned the streamer would hire white actors in the lead roles, despite none of these characters being white in the original series.

The Last Airbender fans have been burned before, with M. Night Shyamalan’s 2010 film adaptation receiving similar backlash in regard to white-washing its characters. The fear of this being repeated, along with the possibility of changing the character dynamics, was enough to have longtime fans calling for a cancellation of the Netflix series.

Fortunately, it looks like Netflix is listening to its fans and dialling back on the changes it planned on making. The Illuminerdi reports that the upcoming show will age Katara down from 16 to 14, meaning she’ll again be the younger sibling of The Last Airbender‘s water tribe duo. Meanwhile, her brother Sokka’s age will be increased from 15 to 16. As in the original series, he’ll be the older sibling and the oldest of the show’s central trio, which includes lead character Aang.

In addition to alleviating fans’ concerns over age issues, the outlet also writes that Netflix is seeking out Native American talent to play Sokka and Katara, as well as actors of East Asian or South Asian descent to play Aang and Zuko. This will come as a relief to anyone who feared the upcoming show would make the same mistakes as Shyamalan’s movie.

When the live-action adaptation was first announced in 2018, DiMartino and Konietzko said that the series would feature a culturally appropriate, non-whitewashed cast.

Of course, none of this guarantees Netflix’s take on The Last Airbender will do justice to the original, but it suggests the streamer is at least trying to handle its source material with care.

The live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender is slated to head into production in Vancouver, Canada in November 2021, with season one having 10 one-hour episodes.

Could the original creators return to the live-action Avatar remake?

It’s unclear if these are the specific creative differences that led Konietzko and DiMartino to part ways with the Netflix series in the first place, but it’s unlikely the duo will return to the project even if they were.

The two have since announced their involvement with Nickelodeon’s Avatar Studios, a division of the company dedicated to creating new films and series set in the Last Airbender universe. There’s already a theatrical film in the works, and Nickelodeon appears to have ambitious plans for this new unit.

All Avatar Studios projects are separate from Netflix’s live-action adaptation, as the deals were inked at different times. Despite all the controversy and little progress being announced, it seems the streamer is determined to carry on with its project even without the original creators or Nickelodeon getting behind it.

It is no surprise that Netflix wants to dive into the beloved world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, given the fact that when the animated series was added to the streaming giant in May 2020, it skyrocketed to be the #1 series in only four days and held that position from May 14-May 21. Avatar: The Last Airbender broke records by holding a position in Netflix’s top ten series list for 60 days and was the most streamed children’s series on Netflix in 2020.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is an expansive franchise that began with the three season animated Nickelodeon series that ran from 2005-2008. Avatar: The Last Airbender has grown to include not only a sequel series with The Legend of Korra, but tie in novels, comics, and a video game as well..

Only time will tell if the upcoming remake will appeal to viewers in the same way the original series has. Plenty remains up in the air, but one thing is certain: The Last Airbender fans have a lot of new content to look forward to in the next few years.
Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra on Paramount+ and Netflix!

Subscribe to the NEW official Avatar: The Last Airbender YouTube channel!:

More Nick: Nickelodeon Establishes Avatar Studios; Announces Animated 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Movie!

Original source: Winter is Coming.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon, Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra News and Highlights!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have your say by leaving a comment below! NickALive! welcomes friendly and respectful comments. Please familiarize with the blog's Comment Policy before commenting. All new comments are moderated and won't appear straight away.