Avatar: The Last Airbender creators quit Netflix live-action series adaptation over 'creative differences'

Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko's original animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon

FP Staff August 13, 2020 15:20:36 IST
Avatar: The Last Airbender creators quit Netflix live-action series adaptation over 'creative differences'

Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the creators of animated classic Avatar: The Last Airbender, have exited Netflix's upcoming live-action series of the show.

The duo was working as executive producers and showrunners on the series which was announced in 2018.

DiMartino shared the news in a statement posted on his website, saying "creative differences" were the reason behind their departure from the project.

"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 honouring 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," he wrote.

DiMartino said there was a point during the making when he and Konietzko couldn’t "control the creative direction of the series" and they chose to leave it.

"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," he added.

The creator, however, is confident about the Netflix series as he believes it 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.

"I also want to be clear that this doesn’t mean the end of my involvement in the Avatar universe. These stories and characters are important to me and the renewed interest and excitement in Avatar and Korra has been inspiring to see," DiMartino said.

The original animated series aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon. It started in February 2005 and concluded in July 2008.

The story follows Aang and his friends, who have to save the world by battling Fire Lord Ozai to end the war with the Fire Nation.

The TV series was adapted for the big screen by director M Night Shyamalan in 2010 but the film bombed at the box office. Critics had also slammed the film for its plot, screenplay, and acting but most notably for whitewashing the characters.

Read Konietzko's statement here


View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by Bryan Konietzko (@bryankonietzko) on

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

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