Friday, July 01, 2022

Avatar The Last Airbender: Creators Clarify Franchise's Canon Ahead Of New Movies

The executive producers of the upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender theatrical animated movies have revealed where those projects stand in the canon.

The executive producers of the upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender animated movies have divulged how those films stand in the overall canon of the franchise. The sprawling franchise began in 2005 with the release of the Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, which introduced a universe where people from various regions can "bend" one of the four elements, while the reincarnated Avatar can bend all four and bring balance to the world. The franchise has taken on a life of its own, expanding into graphic novels, books, video games, the spin-off sequel series The Legend of Korra.

The Avatar universe has continued to expand in several directions. In addition to an upcoming live-action series created by Netflix, the newly created Avatar Studios is developing a trilogy of theatrical animated films from the universe of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The first film will be directed by Lauren Montgomery, a storyboard artist and supervising producer on Korra. Although not much is currently known about the projects, it is rumored that each film will focus on an individual character, with the trilogy covering the stories of Avatar Kiyoshi, Prince Zuko, and Avatar Korra, the Avatar who is reincarnated from The Last Airbender's Aang who is lead character of The Legend of Korra.

On the June 28 episode of the Comic Con Meta*Pod podcast, the hosts did a massive deep dive into the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. This includes discussions with actors Janet Varney (Korra) and Dante Basco (Zuko), as well as a sitdown with co-creators and executive producers Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino. During the conversation, Konietzko and DiMartino broke down how the new projects will interact each other, revealing that they are all part of the same universe, but are not being directly adapted from extant Avatar stories for the time being. However, they admit that this might lead to canon issues that require "some little tweaks here and there." Read their full quote below:

Michael: “I think the thing we’re not doing now– not saying this couldn’t happen some day– is, like, we’re not adapting the graphic novels into a [movie or] TV show, we’re not adapting the YA novels into a movie or TV show. Again, that could happen in the future.”

Bryan: “But we are feeding off of them.”

Michael: “We’ve been involved in all those main ancillary stories, so in our minds it’s mostly canon. There’s probably some stuff if we may go back, like: ‘that doesn’t totally line up with this’, so there may be some little tweaks here and there, but as of right now we’re proceeding as if all this stuff is part of the proper universe and hopefully building on it.”

The Avatar universe has spread out in so many directions that it is likely difficult to keep track of every last detail. Although the producers are deprioritizing an exacting canon, hopefully this means that they will focus on telling interesting stories with layered and compelling characters. The emotional resonance at the core of the Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise is what brought fans to it in the first place, after all.

This quote will likely rankle with certain fans of the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe, however. The show has curated such a robust mythology that many people who grew up with the property approach it as a sort of holy writ, akin to the Jedi in Star Wars. Hopefully the films will be of a high enough quality that certain small errors don't muck up the canon to too distressing a degree.

Stream Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra on Paramount+ and Netflix! Try Paramount+ for FREE at

Listen to the brand new podcast, Avatar: Braving the Elements!

Original source: ScreenRant.

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