Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of those iconic shows that we will likely never get sick of, especially now that we can binge the show’s original run, and Legend of Korra, on Netflix. It was announced in 2018 that Netflix would also be producing a live-action version of the series, which would hopefully be vindication for that awful live-action movie. A big point in its favor was that Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the show’s creators, would be a part of the creative team. However, DiMartino posted a letter today on his personal website that both of them would be stepping away from the project.
According to the letter, DiMartino says that he “control the creative direction of the series, but I could control how I responded” which could signal there was creative differences between him and the Netflix team. He also ominously wrote: “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.”
Konietzko put up his own statement on Instagram, saying that though Netflix publicly agreed to support their vision for the show, things were very different behind the scenes:
Netflix put out their own statement, as reported by Variety. “We have complete respect and admiration for Michael and Bryan and the story that they created in the Avatar animated series,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. “Although they have chosen to depart the live action project, we are confident in the creative team and their adaptation.”
There’s no word when we can expect to see Netflix’s version of the show anytime soon. It’ll be interesting to see if the project get dropped because of these two leaving, since it is a move that has soured many fans to the project.