Directors of ‘Avatar’ Reboot Reveal New Details Behind Their Teaser

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Credit: Netflix

Avatar: The Last Airbender has been one of the most celebrated and renowned animated series in the last twenty years. It made an instantaneous impact when it debuted on Nickelodeon back in 2005. It was a critically-acclaimed series that was praised for its deep and complex character development, world-building, and mature themes that addressed grief, genocide, gender stereotypes and the search for inner peace. The ultimate success of Avatar with many viewers was that it masterfully accomplished this storytelling ability while creating a perfect balance of silly humor with lighthearted shenanigans. Netflix’s live-action reimagining of this franchise will be highly scrutinized by a two decade fanbase who expect the same experience. The creative directors of the Tudum teaser trailer have attempted to assure fans of how they sought to honor the treasured source material.

Credit: Nickelodeon

When Netflix acquired the rights to stream the beloved American-created anime in May 2020, it experienced a massive resurgence where it spent over 60 days in the Top 10 and racked up hundreds of millions of hours on the streaming service. Netflix wanted to capitalize on the success by originally partnering with the animated show’s creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, to produce a live-action adaptation.

Credit: Paramount Pictures/Nickelodeon

Yet, when the creators parted ways due to creative differences, fans instantly speculated on the quality of the impending retelling. Much of the fanbase was been bitter after M. Night Shyamalan’s 2010 live-action version bombed at the box office and in the minds of nearly every Avatar fan. This second attempt put pressure on creative directors, Anthony Gibbs and Tosh Kodama, to put out the first cinematic images at Netflix’s Tudum event.

Kodama and Gibbs expressed that they were already familiar with the original series and were given the overall concept of what imagery the studio wanted them to use for the presentation. Unfortunately, they were restricted with what they could create because they could not feature any of the actors. Instead, they had to evoke the vibe of the show, while building anticipation. The duo chose to focus on the distinct personalities of each element, like Fire being aggressive, but Air in contrast is smooth and graceful. Sound design was a main priority to solidify each elemental identity as well.

Credit: Netflix

Gibbs elaborated that he desired to make the viewer feel as though they were in the same atmosphere as the Four Nation logos. Their choice to use the imagery of the element logos made the teaser feel more immersive and textured. It also rooted the symbols to the source material. Kodama confessed that Earth was the most difficult to render because there was not a lot dynamic movement to work with because it is a very still element. Ultimately, the teaser was a creative piece that is meant to establish a project’s visuals and themes. It is the first introduction for audiences to witness and they hope that it created a positive anticipation for the upcoming series.

Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender is slated for a 2024 release.

Are you excited for this adaptation? What did you think of the teaser?

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