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‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ creators quit Netflix adaptation over ‘creative differences’

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‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ creators quit Netflix adaptation over ‘creative differences’
'Whatever version ends up on-screen, it will not be what Bryan and I had envisioned or intended to make,' writes DiMartino, who was slated to be the adaptation's executive producer and showrunner

The original creators of animated TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko will no longer be part of the show’s upcoming live-action TV adaptation on Netflix.

Their “difficult decision” comes after two years of “development work.”

DiMartino announced the news on Wednesday, August 12 in a letter to Avatar fans on his website.

“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 said.

“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,” he added.

DiMartino said he tried his best to “go with the flow,” no matter what challenges arose. But, according to him, even an “Air Nomad knows when it’s time to cut their losses and move on.”

After seeking wisdom from Stoic philosophers, Di Martino concluded that he couldn’t control the creative direction of the series, but he could control how he responded. So, he left the project, which he felt was necessary for his “happiness and creative integrity.”

“And who knows? 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 wrote.

DiMartino said this doesn’t mean the end of his involvement in the Avatar universe, as the stories and characters remain very important to him, particularly because of renewed interest in Avatar and Korra.

“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,” DiMartino said.

He ended his letter by reassuring his fans to keep moving until they see the light at the end of the dark tunnel – a reference to Iroh, one of the show’s characters. He also thanked the fans for their “continued enthusiasm” in the Avatar universe.

According to a Variety report, the Netflix project will still be pushing through with Nickelodeon and Dan Lin.

Avatar: The Last Airbender aired for 3 seasons on Nickeledeon, from February 2005 to July 2008, garnering TV recognition from the Annie Awards, Genesis Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a Peabody Award.

The sequel series, Legend of Korra, ran from 2012 to 2014.

The captivating series follows main protagonist Aang and his friends as they lead epic, action-packed adventures in their quest to save the world from Fire Lord Ozai and the Fire Nation. –

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