According to sources close to WGTC – the same ones who told us that Percy Jackson is being rebooted as a streaming series and Ahsoka Tano will be in The Mandalorian season 2, both of which we now know to be correct – Netflix is setting up their upcoming live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender to be the streamer’s equivalent of HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Although this bit of news may seem trivial, it reveals so much more than the simple fact that Netflix is trying to get their hands on a big budget, huge-scale mega-hit. For one, if Avatar is going to be the streaming giant’s own personal Game of Thrones, we should expect the series – about which very little is currently known – to be the platform’s tentpole project for years to come.
Given that Game of Thrones had eight seasons, and Avatar, which originally aired in 20-minute programming blocks on Nickelodeon, had just three, it’s safe to say that Netflix will be padding their project with a large amount of extra content. Whether that padding will amount to one or two (or three) new seasons, though, remains to be seen.
We’ve already had some hints of what to expect, too, as we recently heard that they’ll be adding a couple LGBT characters to the story which were not featured in its original version. Although initially thought to constitute little more than an attempt make the show more representative, these characters now appear to be the tip of some kind of DLC iceberg.
If there’s any series on earth which could rival Game of Thrones though, it’s Avatar. That said, the story of Westeros has one thing which the legend of Aang will never have, and that’s the element of surprise. Indeed, one of the reasons why George R.R. Martin’s high fantasy epic became as popular as it did was because no one could guess what would happen in the next episode.
Of course, almost every cinephile on earth already knows the story of Avatar: The Last Airbender like the back of their own hand. How exactly Netflix is going to keep their show engaging, then, is a question only they can answer. But we’re certainly looking forward to watching them try.