Netflix’ work on a live-action adaptation of popular Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender has been running since 2018. Now, though, the show has been dealt a blow, as original creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have left after two years of involvement.
Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have announced they are both leaving Netflix’s live-action remake of Avatar: The Last Airbender after prolonged creative differences between the streaming service and the shows co-creators.
DiMartino wrote an open letter to fans about what happened with the Netflix series.
“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 explains how he tried to “go with the flow” on the production, but it ultimately didn’t work out. “Even an Air Nomad knows when it’s time to cut their losses and move on.”
“I realized I couldn’t control the creative direction of the series, but I could control how I responded. So, I chose to leave the project. It was 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.”
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Well, friends… there you have it. Big sigh. 💔⬇️💔 I’m sure many of you will understandably want to know more and will ask me questions in the comments, here and on subsequent posts and live-streams and in-person encounters and everywhere else ad infinitum. I wish I could explain things in greater detail, but the above statement is really all I can say about the matter so I won’t be answering any of those. I encourage you to head over to my partner Michael DiMartino’s account to get his take on our departure too: @mike_dante_d Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of the Avatar: The Last Airbender fans, and I’m sorry our involvement in the live-action project did not work out. Time to get on with my life. Onward and upward. 💙 Love, Bryan #avatarthelastairbender #cocreators #michaeldimatino #bryankonietzko #bryke #atla #liveactionseries #netflix
Netflix’s response to the news published on Variety.com says the future of the live adaptation show is still intact.
“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.”
Netflix has not announced who will be taking over as showrunner on their Avatar: The Last Airbender series yet, after saying the show will go ahead—after all.