Well, that was a let down.
Avatar: The Last Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have announced their departure from Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the legendary animated series. This was confirmed when DiMartino published a lengthy blogpost on Wednesday, causing concerns among the fans.
“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,” DiMartino wrote. “In June of this year, after two years of development work, Bryan Konietzko and I made the difficult decision to leave the production.”
“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.”
“Look, things happen. Productions are challenging. Unforeseen events arise. Plans have to change. And when those things have happened at other points during my career, I try to be like an Air Nomad and adapt. I do my best to go with the flow, no matter what obstacle is put in my way. But even an Air Nomad knows when it’s time to cut their losses and move on.”
“I started to reevaluate what is truly important in my life and what I wanted to do with what’s left of it. I took some advice from Uncle Iroh. I looked inward and started asking myself the big question: ‘Who are you and what do you want?'”
DiMartino said that he couldn’t control the creative direction of the series, but he could control how he responded, so he chose to go. He acknowledged that while this was the hardest professional decision he’d ever had to make, it was necessary for his happiness and creative integrity.
Also, despite their leaving, DiMartino admitted that the Netflix adaptation could still turn out to be good. He just made it clear that whatever we’d see once the remake comes out is not what he and Konietzko had envisioned. He also clarified that this doesn’t mean they will no longer be involved in other future Avatar projects.
“Writing this letter has left me with a very heavy heart. I know many of you will be disappointed and frustrated by this news. I get it. I share your disappointment and frustration. I also recognize this creative setback is small compared to the problems we’re all facing as a society right now.
Thankfully, Iroh offered some wisdom for that, too: ‘Sometimes life is like this dark tunnel. You can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you just keep moving you will come to a better place.’
May we all keep moving and come to a better place.”
Netflix’s production continues with Nickelodeon and producer Dan Lim.
The ATLA Netflix remake was announced way back 2018. Fans were delighted especially when they learned that the streaming giant had tapped the original creators to be the executive producers and showrunners. Most fans still haven’t recovered from the disaster that was M. Night Shyamalan’s 2010 live-action film, so when they found out about DiMartino and Konietzko’s involvement they were assured that the show was in good hands.
Do you still have high hopes for the Avatar live-action remake?
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