It’s a sad day for fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have departed Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the series. We gleaned the news from Variety on Wednesday. 

So, what led to this abrupt departure? Creative differences, perhaps? That appears to be the case, since DiMartino made a statement regarding the pair’s exit. 

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.

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.

Now, DiMartino did mention that Netflix vowed to keep the production in line with the duo’s vision. However, this promise was an unfulfilled one. This isn’t a new phenomena in Hollywood — many times artists will disembark from a series after experiencing creative differences with their coworkers. But DiMartino cautiously hopes that Netflix will churn out the quality content all Avatar fans wish to see. 

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.

He also went on to assure fans that he’s still involved in the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe. While the comment is somewhat cryptic and certainly alludes to more projects coming down the pipeline, it’s still an assurance all the same.

The Netflix creatives voiced their utmost respect for DiMartino and Konietzko’s decision. The streaming giant and Nickelodeon are still moving forward with the live-action adaptation as planned. 

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Avatar: The Last Airbender ran from 2005-2008 on Nickelodeon. The animated series garnered critical acclaim and a slew of awards as well. Additionally, the sequel series Legend of Korra ran from 2012-2014. 

Now, if there’s a series spin-off, book-to-film adaptation, etc. that doesn’t have the creatives involved, I usually tend to dismiss it. Netflix also failing to deliver on their promise of remaining faithful to DiMartino and Konietzko’s vision smacks of shadiness. However, perhaps Netflix will surprise us and inject their live-action production with the same energy that made us fall in love with the source material. 

What do you think of the Avatar: The Last Airbender creatives exiting Netflix’s adaptation? Sound off in the comments below!



Melody McCune
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