Imagine this: You’re a twentysomething “Avatar” fan. No, you’re not part of the Netflix resurgence fanbase. You’re an OG, “tune in to Nick every week” fan who’s excited about the latest live-action Netflix remake of your fave franchise.
Then, everything changed when the creators left the project.
It’s a sad day for “Avatar” fans, old and new. Today, Aug. 13, creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko announced on social media that they’re stepping back from the Netflix adaptation of “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” This hard decision had to push through due to creative differences.
Based on their statements, the general handling of this live-action project became a negative and unsupportive environment. “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,” wrote DiMartino. “And we expressed how excited we were for the opportunity to be at the helm. Unfortunately, things did not go as we had hoped.”
Konietzko added in his Instagram post that they were collaborative people. “We did not need all the ideas to come from us,” says the co-creator. “As long as we felt those ideas were in line with the spirit and integrity of Avatar, we would happily embrace them.” But when the creators realized they couldn’t fully guide the direction of the series, they decided to leave the project with a heavy heart.
Netflix responded to the creators’ statement via The Verge. “We have complete respect and admiration for Michael and Bryan and the story that they created in the Avatar animated series,” says an unnamed Netflix spokesperson. “Although they have chosen to depart the live-action project, we are confident in the creative team and their adaptation.”
Netflix execs might be confident that the live-action adaptation would be fine without the creators of the show they’re adapting. I, for one, have learned from M. Night Shyamalan to not get my hopes up. I’m not sitting through an angsty adaptation of a modern animation classic.
If the OG creators left the project due to their vision getting disrespected, then open the door for me. My interest in this venture has checked out.
Still from “Avatar: The Last Airbender”