Avatar: The Last Airbender writer Aaron Ehasz reveals a possible season 4 of the animated TV show was sidelined for M. Night Shyamalan's movie adaptation, The Last Airbender. Premiering in 2005 and running for three seasons, eventually concluding in 2008, Avatar: The Last Airbender became a fan-favorite animated series among viewers young and old. Avatar told the story of a young Airbender named Aang who learns he's the Avatar - the one person in the whole world who can master Airbending, Waterbending, Earthbending and Firebending. However, after 100 years away from the world, Aang awakes to learn a great war was started in his absence and he journeys to learn the other forms of bending and take his place as the Avatar.
The award-winning Nickelodeon series was well received among critics and casual viewers alike. It was popular enough that the story continued in comic book form as well as the spinoff series The Legend of Korra, which follows the Avatar after Aang. Further, season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender was adapted to live-action in the form of M. Night Shyamalan's 2010 movie, The Last Airbender. However, The Last Airbender was critically panned and failed to live up to the expectations of the animated show's fans. Now, one of the series' original writers reveals Avatar almost continued for a fourth season, but that was scrapped in favor of the film.
On Twitter, former Avatar: The Last Airbender head writer Aaron Ehasz - who currently works on the Netflix series he co-created, The Dragon Prince - revealed that the potential season 4 would have given Azula a redemption arc. The younger sister of Fire Nation crown prince Zuko, Azula was introduced as an antagonist in season 2 and defeated by Katara and Zuko in the series finale. According to Ehasz, Zuko would have been instrumental to Azula's redemption arc, helping and supporting his sister the way his Uncle Iroh did for him in the early seasons. Check out Ehasz's thread below.
Longer and far more complicated than Zuko's. She had not bottomed in the end of season 3, she had further to go. At the deepest moment in her own abyss she would have found: Zuko.— aaron ehasz (@aaronehasz) April 1, 2019
That’s how she would have gotten out, and changed. With the faith and love of someone she had hurt, but who stuck by her anyway. Just as he had been saved by faith and love from someone he had hurt, but who stuck by him.— aaron ehasz (@aaronehasz) April 1, 2019
And I always imagined that after coming out the other side, she would be one of those people who hilariously over-shares her own feelings all the time, and that she would be a bit over-apologetic. Like a Canadian version of Azula.— aaron ehasz (@aaronehasz) April 1, 2019
After the initial thread, Ehasz answered fan questions on Twitter, in particular about this arc would have fit into the initial plan for the series, which showrunners Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko had previously stated always included three seasons. However, Ehasz revealed there was a point in production when the show's writers believed they would do a fourth season, but Shyamalan's movie was given the green light and the showrunners decided to revert back to their original plan of three seasons.
Though to be clear, M Night wanted us to do a 4th season, but Mike and Bryan wanted to focus on the movie.— aaron ehasz (@aaronehasz) April 2, 2019
Fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender are no doubt disappointed to hear that the TV show likely would have had a fourth season if not for Shyamalan's movie. Though the film has its fans, it's largely viewed as a blight on the otherwise well-regarded property. Certainly in hindsight, many fans would no doubt prefer Avatar: The Last Airbender season 4 to The Last Airbender. But, for those interested in the further adventures of Aang, Zuko, Azula and the rest of the show's main characters, their story does continue in a series of graphic novels published by Dark Horse Comics.
Further, a new live-action take on Avatar: The Last Airbender is coming to Netflix, with original showrunners DiMartino and Konietzko on board to shepherd the series. With DiMartino and Konietzko involved with this particular live-action adaptation, it's sure to be much more faithful to the original animated show than Shyamalan's film. Plus, with a whole new format and platform set for this new Avatar: The Last Airbender project, the showrunners have room to explore new story beats, so perhaps fans will get to see Azula's redemption in live-action. That is, of course, if Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender continues on long enough.
Source: Aaron Ehasz/Twitter