Paramount and Nickelodeon have announced that three new animated Avatar films are in development under the latter’s Avatar Studios banner. Lauren Montgomery (Avatar: The Last Airbender) is attached to direct the untitled first installment.
Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino, who created the franchise-launching series Avatar: The Last Airbender for Nickelodeon, will produce alongside that show’s EP, Eric Coleman. Paramount Animations’s and Nickelodeon Animation’s EVP of Movies and Global Franchises, Latifa Ouaou, will oversee development on the first film, alongside Jason McConnell, who serves as Vice President of Animation at Nickelodeon Animation & Paramount Animation.
Montgomery is a veteran director, producer and storyboard artist who served in the latter capacity on the original Avatar series. Additional credits on the directing side include Voltron: Legendary Defender, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated and Young Justice.
“As original creators Mike and Bryan expand the Avatar universe with us, we’re keeping it all in the family with Lauren bringing the same kind of expert, beautiful work she did on the original series to her new directing duties on the forthcoming theatrical,” said Ramsey Naito, who serves as President of Animation & Development at Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation.
Airing for three seasons between 2005 and 2008, Avatar: The Last Airbender followed Aang (Zach Tyler Eisen), a young boy reawakening in a war-torn world of elemental magic to undertake a dangerous mystic quest—thereby fulfilling his destiny as the Avatar, and bringing peace to the world. Nickelodeon followed up that hugely popular series with sequel The Legend of Korra, which aired for four seasons between 2012 and 2014. In the years since, the multimedia franchise has continued to expand with a 2010 live-action feature starring Dev Patel, which M. Night Shyamalan directed, as well as assorted comics, books, video games and home media releases. A live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series is currently in the works at Netflix, albeit without the involvement of Konietzko and DiMartino.
Avatar Studios is a division of Nickelodeon Animation announced back in February of last year, which was designed to create original content spanning animated series and movies based on the beloved world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, for platforms including Paramount+ and Nickelodeon, as well as third-party platforms and theaters. DiMartino and Konietzko run the studio as co-chief creative officers and report to Naito.
Up next for Paramount Animation is Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, which is set for release on July 15. Other upcoming titles include a new animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pic (8/24/23), Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie (10/13/23), The Tiger’s Apprentice (12/20/23), an untitled, animated Transformers movie (7/19/24) and an untitled Smurfs animated musical (12/20/24).