The last few months of 2020 were indeed the best time to be an Avatar fan since the Korra finale aired in 2014. But alas, now here is some sad news for the same people. Co-creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have parted ways with Netflix and its live-action series based on Avatar: The Last Airbender. This live-action was announced in 2018 with DiMartino and Konietzko on board as executive producers with creative control.
Both DiMartino and Konietzko cited creative differences with Netflix over the direction of the project. For the unversed, when Netflix announced this project in 2018, both DiMartino and Konietzko’s involvement was heavily promoted.
The creators announced their departure on Wednesday. DiMartino’s blog post only confirmed the concerns of fans, as the writer and executive producer said that ‘whatever version ends up on-screen, it will not be what Bryan and I had envisioned or intended to make.’
In his blog, DiMartino wrote: “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.”
He continued: “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.”
Talking about the Netflix adaptation without them he added: “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, admitting that he couldn’t control the creative direction of the series, said he decided to leave adding: “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.”
A Netflix spokesperson told The Verge, “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.”
The last live-action, Avatar: The Last Airbender made without DiMartino and Konietzko, failed to meet the expectation of fans across the globe. Let’s see how this one pans out.