The creators of the original Avatar: The Last Airbender have left Netflix’s upcoming live-action series. Michael Dante DiMartino posted an open letter to fans on his website. Here, he stated that he and co-creator Bryan Konietzko have left the production due to creative differences with Netflix. The duo apparently left the project in June after working on it for two years. They had the following to say:
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 doesn’t go into specifics in the post, though it sounds like there were too many creative differences with Netflix for he and Konietzko to adapt to. They felt it better to look at what they wanted to do with their careers and, as DiMartino puts it, “cut their losses.”
The letter isn’t entirely negative. DiMartino states that Netflix’s Avatar series still has the potential to be something fans will enjoy. When it comes to what he and Konietzko intended to create though, it won’t be that. He also states that this in no way means he’s leaving the Avatar universe. He and Konietzko have worked with other creators over the years on graphic novels and young adult books. We’ll likely see more tie-in media in the future. And maybe, as many fans likely hope, a third animated series.
Netflix added Avatar: The Last Airbender to its service earlier this year. This led to renewed popularity as fans rediscovered it and others watched it for the first time. Its sequel series, The Legend of Korra, will arrive on Netflix on August 14th, 2020.