Live-Action 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Series Coming to Netflix

Creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino want to build on the animated series' world with a "culturally appropriate" cast.
Courtesy of John Staub/courtesy of Netflix
Concept art for Netflix's live-action 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'

Netflix has ordered a live-action series based on the beloved animated show Avatar: The Last Airbender, with creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino set to take the reins again.

The new series goes into production in 2019 and will air exclusively on Netflix. It's being produced in partnership with Nickelodeon, which was home to the animated series' three-season run from 2005 to 2008. The Emmy- and Peabody-winning series followed the adventures of main character Aang and a group of friends who sought to save the world by defeating the Fire Lord Ozai.

"We're thrilled for the opportunity to helm this live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender," said Konietzko and DiMartino. "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. 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. Netflix is wholly dedicated to manifesting our vision for this retelling, and we're incredibly grateful to be partnering with them."

Added Melissa Cobb, vp kids and family content at Netflix, "We are committed to honoring Bryan and Mike's vision for this retelling and are thrilled to support them on creating a live-action event series, bringing Aang's epic world of elemental magic to life for global audiences on Netflix."

The world of Avatar: The Last Airbender has continued to live following the series' end thanks to a best-selling comic book series that's still producing original stories. It also spawned a live-action 2010 feature film directed by M. Night Shyamalan — which was not well-received.

"Avatar: The Last Airbender continues to grow and resonate with fans around the world due its combination of relatable characters with all their foibles and a fully realized world of epic, high-stakes stories and adventures," said Chris Viscardi, senior vp animation production and development at Nickelodeon. "This partnership with Netflix is part of our broader efforts at Nick and Viacom to tap into our enormous library of culturally resonant properties to produce new interpretations, and we can’t wait for people to see Netflix's live-action version of Avatar."