Avatar: The Last Airbender creators quit Netflix adaptation— here’s why

When the world needed them most, they vanished

The planned Netflix live-action adaption for the popular series “Avatar: The Last Airbender” has gotten fans excited. Most especially since creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko would be on board for the production. But then, things changed, and just this Wednesday morning, DiMartino announced in an open letter that he and Konietzko will no longer be involved in this adaptation.


DiMartino starts his letter with a much-anticipated answer to fans regarding the updates on the upcoming Netflix series: he didn’t have any. That’s because he and co-creator Konietzko have made the difficult decision to leave the production last June after two years of development work.

When negotiations began last 2018, both creators were hired as executive producers and showrunner. According to DiMartino, “Netflix said that it was committed to honoring our vision for this retelling and to supporting us on creating the series” in a joint announcement, much to their excitement. However, things took a turn for the worse due to challenges in production, unforeseen events, and changes in plans.

“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,” DiMartino explains, referencing the tribe in the series. “I realized I couldn’t control the creative direction of the series, but I could control how I responded. So, I chose to leave the project.”

He adds, “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.”

Although both creators formally close the doors on their involvement in the Netflix adaptation, DiMartino emphasizes that this will not mean the end of his involvement in the Avatar universe. Fans can rest easy, since both the stories and characters remain important to him.

You can read the full letter that was originally published on DiMartino’s website here.

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