For some time now Netflix has been working on a live action remake of Avatar: The Last Airbender, in conjunction with creators of the show Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino (pictured above). Unfortunately the trio has gone their separate ways as the original creators have split from the project.
“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,” reads the opener to the announcement.
As for why this has happened DiMartino cites product challenges, unforeseen events and changed plans. More importantly it boils down to creative differences.
“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,” DiMartino writes.
As for Konietzko he has also released an Instagram post mirroring the announcement and providing some feedback from his side of things. Konietzko also points to DiMartino statements on the matter for more details. We have to imagine that, between them, there’s also some contracts preventing some information from being released, and it’s always good to exit projects professionally instead of taking the nuclear option and dragging Netflix through the mud.
“Though I am profoundly disappointed by how things turned out, there are wonderfully talented people who are still working on the series, some of whome Mike and I personally hired and get to know well during our time on the project… perhaps the team that remainds might still be able to make something fans of the original and an entirely new audience can enjoy,” Konietzko writes.
That last part is what most people are now hoping for. All the rest of us can do is wait and see if Netflix and the remaining staff can create something that’s closer in quality to the original, and not a repeat of the M. Night Shyamalan’s flaming dumpster fire movie from 2010.
With the original Avatar: The Last Airbender series being a runaway success for Netflix, we’re sure the higher ups will be hoping for a repeat in the live action remake.
[Image – CC 2.0 by Edward Liu]