'Avatar: The Last Airbender': African version starring John Boyega coming soon? Fans think he'll be fire bender
Ffifteen years ago, 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' zoomed into our hearts, and ten years since M Shyamalan almost killed it with his Dev Patel film. However, all said and done, the show made a comeback on Netflix and is already being considered one of the biggest hits of the summer. Of course, it is up for discussion every day, with many taking a trip down memory lane and others comparing it to the sequel 'The Legend Of Korra', which seemed to have polarized fans. Nevertheless, 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' remains hugely popular even today, as its storytelling and animation approach appealed to millions across the globe.
It was the perfect mix of comedy as well as drama, and had explored several mature angles, proving that it wasn't just a run-of-the-mill kids show. The story was set in a world where people can control or rather 'bend' earth, water and fire and told the story of Aang, a monk and a master of all the four elements. We fell in love with Aang with his adventures and misadventures that invariably lead up to a showdown. The show cemented itself in popular culture as it was one of the very few animations that actually featured diverse Asian characters, who were struggling to find their footing in an ever-changing world.
It's clear that creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko did their homework, and researched the cultures and customs of the people. Each bending style was based on real Asian martial arts such as Tai Chi, and northern Shaolin kung fu. The concepts of reincarnation were primarily inspired by Hinduism and Buddhism. Yet, despite its universal appeal, the show found itself open to criticism, for 'tokenism', because its story was compared to every other American show with finding new paths, friendship and reinventing oneself at their core. The criticism knew no bounds when the film released, as the whole film was whitewashed.
Nevertheless, while 'ATLW' has had its run in the sun, it will be interesting to explore an African adaptation of it, as suggested by 'Star Wars' actor John Boyega himself, in one of his tweets. This would make a fascinating premise, as one of the fans noted on his tweet, and that such a concept explored with African mythos would be groundbreaking storytelling, indeed. Perhaps the mistakes from the original show might be rectified as well. And Boyega starring in it? Sign us up!
Boyega wrote, "When you lot are ready to have the benders in Africa explored let me know!" Hopefully, some filmmakers and showrunners might take him up on this offer. Fans are quite eager for this, and flooded his post with comments, and are wondering which element he would bend. "Is there Africa in avatar? I thought it was like a different version of earth like it doesn’t even take place in China. But for real I’d loooooooove to see Boyega in an avatar movie if they ever try again. A fire bender for sure," one tweeted. "ATLA may be fictional but it is very clearly inspired by irl asian cultures. Why not have african cultures explored in it too?" another wrote.
Of course, there were naysayers. "it’s heavily asian inspired, with the world being built around actual asian countries and time periods, so i don’t think africa would actually be included," another wrote. "I always wondered why we never got to see an African inspired area or group considering we got see people like southern themed swamp benders and aztec Fire benders," tweeted another wrote.