Fandom can be a thankless gig. You spend all this time thinking about your favorite shows, dreaming up theories, then sharing those interpretations to the world knowing you’ll likely never receive a response.

Sometimes, however, people are listening. And sometimes those people are the folks working on a live-action remake of the show you loved so much in the first place.

That is the situation that several super fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender are about to find themselves in. A Netflix live-action remake of Nickelodeon’s beloved animated series is set to release all eight of its episodes on Feb. 22. In advance of the premiere, EW just published a sprawling feature about Netflix’s efforts, including interviews with all of the show’s stars and many behind-the-camera figures. There is a lot of interesting information and insights to be had in those interviews, but the most notable tidbit is that the people behind the new Avatar: The Last Airbender have been watching all your Avatar YouTube content … and they love it.

In EW’s feature, Princess Azula actress Elizabeth Yu says that Avatar fan videos have helped her better understand her cunning Fire Nation character and the complicated dynamic she has with her father, Fire Lord Ozai (Daniel Dae Kim). She points to videos that analyze the psychology of Azula and her brother Zuko (Dallas Liu) as siblings in a powerful royal family.  

Zuko and Azula’s relationship is a popular topic for online Avatar scholars so it’s unknown which video or videos Yu connected with but it was probably something akin to this:

The EW feature also notes that much of the production team behind the series, including executive producer and visual effects supervisor Jabbar Raisani, came into the project as Avatar superfans. But most of the cast was too young to watch animation when it was first released in 2005, including Aang actor Gordon Cormier. For them, fan content has proven to be very helpful.

“Shout-out to the Avatarist. The whole cast watches him, and we really love that guy!” Cormier said.

Like any live-action adaptation of a beloved animation, Avatar: The Last Airbender faces a major credibility challenge in proving to the existing fanbase that their beloved property needing remaking in the first place. It’s unclear whether Netflix’s Avatar will be successful in doing so. Taking in deep Avatar lore on YouTube seems like a good first step though.

All eight episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender premiere Feb. 22 on Netflix.

The post How Avatar: The Last Airbender Fans Helped Inspire the Live-Action appeared first on Den of Geek.

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