Translating beloved animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender into live action will be no mean feat. And if the ill-fated M. Night Shyamalan and Dev Patel 2010 movie is anything to go by, translating the world, characters and powers into a convincing series will not be easy. Therefore, the budget (presumably mostly for production design and VFX) is going to have to be huge.
Well, according to actor Anthony Ruttgaizer, who plays Iroh in the series, it’s a “hundred million dollar show.” And Avatar News are reporting that the budget is over $120 million, with each episode topping $15 million, making it one of the most expensive shows ever made.
This puts Avatar: The Last Airbender in the same category as Game of Thrones and The Mandalorian, and probably similar to The Last of Us – currently shooting in Canada. Prime Video’s The Rings of Power – The Lord of the Rings spin-off show – is one of the few series to exceed this, with season one alone reportedly having a budget of around $450 million.
Avatar: The Last Airbender ran from 2005-2008 on Nickelodeon and has only grown in cult status since then, as every time it joins a new streaming service, it gains new fans and more of a following. The live-action series is using the same technology as The Mandalorian where digital environments are rendered on a video wall while the actors perform scenes in real-time. This saves the production a lot of time when it comes to editing and post-production.
While we wait for more news on The Last Airbender live-action series, check out our guide to the best Netflix series.