Creators Promise Not to Whitewash New ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Series

By Sameer Rao Sep 20, 2018

Netflix announced on Tuesday (September 18) that it will adapt Nickelodeon’s popular anime-influenced series, "Avatar: The Last Airbender," into a live-action show. For those worried that this series will follow the example Indian-American filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan set with his 2010 adaptation, "The Last Airbender," and cast White actors in Asian and Indigenous lead roles: fear not.

Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who co-created the original animated show and serve as showrunners and executive producers for the Netflix project, promised to avoid making the same mistake.

“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,” the pair said, referencing the series’ main character, in a joint statement to Indiewire and other media outlets on Tuesday (September 18). “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.”

Indiewire reports that production begins on the series next year.