4:00 pm EDT, March 25, 2013

‘Avatar: The Search’ was pitched as a movie by Mike DiMartino, but Nick opted for ‘Korra’ Book 2

The snow is falling here on the east coast (no school), Justin Timberlake just released a rocking new album and now we find out that Nickelodeon decided NOT to make The Search into an animated movie. Before you start sharpening your pitch forks, I think it’s important that you hear the whole story.

Mike DiMartino recently wrote a blog post explaining that while the team was working on Book 1 of The Legend of Korra, they pitched Nickelodeon the idea of a movie version of The Search. In case you’re not all too familiar with the Avatar-related comic books, The Search is a newly released comic book series that is expected to reveal what happened to Zuko’s mother. The series is divided into three parts and all of them will be released at some point this year (the first part is already out).

When Mike and Bryan pitched the idea for The Search to Nickelodeon in the form of an animated movie, Nickelodeon reportedly wasn’t interested in it. Nickelodeon essentially shut the door on a possible return of Aang and the gang to the television screen.

But after Nickelodeon rejected the pitch for The Search, they decided to pick up Book 2 of The Legend of Korra instead which ultimately led to Book 3 and Book 4 being picked up as well.

I’ve never felt so two-sided in my life. On one side, I’m furious at Nickelodeon for declining to turn The Search into an animated movie. On the other side, if Nickelodeon decided to pick up The Search, then Book 2, Book 3 and Book 4 of The Legend of Korra would never have existed.

The Legend of Korra would have remained as a mini series.

As of now, I don’t think it’s fair to really take a side just because we don’t really know what The Legend of Korra will become. Book 1 was a bit disappointing, but that doesn’t mean Books 2, 3 and 4 can’t be vastly improved. If the remaining Books turn out to be really good, sacrificing The Search for The Legend of Korra might have been a no-brainier. But, if the remaining Books turn out to be as disappointing as the first, then sacrificing The Search for The Legend of Korra may have been a very bad idea.

But forget about what we want. Let’s look at this from the perspective of Nickelodeon. Where is the MONEY at? Well that’s easy: The Legend of Korra would be much more profitable for the network than an animated version of The Search. Why? Because 52 episodes of 30 minute television eclipses a 90 minute animated movie by an unbelievable margin.

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Make no mistake, it’s not that Nickelodeon disliked the idea of The Search. They’d be stupid to think that Avatar fans wouldn’t appreciate The Search being turned into an animated movie. Nickelodeon saw dollar signs with one more than the other.

It’s not a bad thing. Any television network would do the same thing. But I think it’s important for Legend of Korra fans to understand that turning The Search into an animated movie would have been an excellent idea. The only issue is that the revenue wouldn’t be as profitable.

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