Original creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko are no longer affiliated with Netflix’s live-action adaptation of ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’. DiMartino posted an open letter on his website, which read in part:
“Many of you have been asking me for updates about the Avatar live-action Netflix series. I can finally tell you that I am no longer involved with the project. In June of this year, after two years of development work, Bryan Konietzko and I made the difficult decision to leave the production.
“When Bryan and I signed on to the project in 2018, we were hired as executive producers and showrunners. In a joint announcement for the series, Netflix said that it was committed to honoring our vision for this retelling and to supporting us on creating the series. And we expressed how excited we were for the opportunity to be at the helm. Unfortunately, things did not go as we had hoped.”
DiMartino went on to refer to this as “the hardest professional decision I’ve ever had to make, and certainly not one that I took lightly, but it was necessary for my happiness and creative integrity. ” It definitely sounds as though the project Netflix wanted isn’t the one that DiMartino and Konietzko wanted to make.
“And who knows? Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Avatar has the potential to be good. It might turn out to be a show many of you end up enjoying. But what I can be certain about is that whatever version ends up on-screen, it will not be what Bryan and I had envisioned or intended to make.”
DiMartino and Konietzko created the original cartoon series which aired on Nickelodeon and was just released on Netflix earlier this year, leading to a resurgence in interest from old school fans, as well as an influx of new fans who watched it for the first time. The follow-up series, ‘The Legend of Korra’ arrives on Netflix this Friday.
Netflix has issued a response:
“We have complete respect and admiration for Michael and Bryan and the story that they created in the Avatar animated series. Although they have chosen to depart the live-action project, we are confident in the creative team and their adaptation.”
Of course, ‘Avatar’ fans have already seen their beloved animated series botched with a bad live-action take, the 2010 theatrical movie, ‘The Last Airbender’ directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Hopefully, this won’t go that way.
Are you still excited about a live-action ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ series, even without the original creators?