As one of the biggest celebrities on the planet, Ryan Reynolds is probably asked to participate in new projects constantly. Superhero fans will know him as either Green Lantern or Deadpool (or both), but his filmography touches just about every genre. Heck, he even dipped his toes into sci-fi horror with 2017’s Life. Now, if a new rumor ends up being true, the popular actor will be joining an almost universally beloved franchise.
Hollywood gossip writer Daniel Richtman brings word that Paramount wants Ryan Reynolds to join the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe in some capacity. This is by no means confirmed, but given Richtman’s track record with accurate industry scoops, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility.
Could Richtman be hinting that Paramount is eyeing Ryan Reynolds for Netflix’s live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series? It is tough to tell, but that would definitely be a logical way for Netflix to hype up the remake. “Hey, we know people are skeptical about this, so look, here’s Ryan Reynolds to entertain (distract) you!” It honestly isn’t the best or most creatively inspired move, but it’s likely that the people behind the remake are wanting to make the idea as attractive to audiences as possible.
But sadly, it is unlikely that even Ryan Reynolds can save the series from fans’ skepticism. An Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action remake was announced back in September 2018, but the franchise’s creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, exited the project two years later, citing creative differences as the reason for their departure. Without their input, the live-action remake has even more working against it. The voice cast of the animated series has also expressed doubts about this new endeavor, calling it “redundant” and remarking on the difficulties the showrunners will face, especially now that the show’s creators are no longer involved.
The truth is, as great as Ryan Reynolds is, there is not much he could add to the Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise. Even without him, the show is fun, funny, and incredibly enduring, a masterclass in streamlined, emotionally resonant storytelling that has endeared itself to millions just by virtue of it being a beautifully told story. Since it debuted on Nickelodeon in 2005, Avatar: The Last Airbender has been lauded as one of the greatest animated series of all time. And for good reason. In fact, the show ended up being so successful that a sequel series titled The Legend of Korra was greenlit. Korra premiered in 2012 and ran for four seasons. There was also a live-action feature film that hit theaters in 2010, but we don’t really like to talk about that.
Regardless of whether or not Ryan Reynolds will actually appear in anything Avatar: The Last Airbender-related, it is still fun to fan cast and discuss where, when, or how he could appear. Personally, I can’t see him being any of the main five characters, even as a voice actor, so it will be interesting to see just how the Last Airbender universe works him into its plans.