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With Avatar: The Last Airbender being one of the biggest shows on Netflix right now, a lot of people were hoping that an announcement for the live-action adaptation would be coming out by the end of the year. What sucks is, we do have an announcement, but it’s for the original Last Airbender creators leaving the project.
In an open letter to the fanbase, Michael Dante DiMartino has announced that he and co-creator Bryan Konietzko are leaving the series due to creative differences. He wrote:
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.
We don’t have any details on what exactly went down, but it has been pointed out that the two were working on an unsupportive environment and have lost creative control over the show. Despite that, DiMartino wishes the series well. He says:
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.
With M. Night Shymalan’s adaptation considered an insult to the source material, a lot of people think that Netflix having the original creators leave the project is a bad omen. Nevertheless, the streaming service is confident in pushing forward. A spokesperson said in a statement (via THR):
“We have complete respect and admiration for Michael and Bryan and the story that they created in the Avatar animated series. Although they have chosen to depart the live-action project, we are confident in the creative team and their adaptation.”
Personally, I think Last Airbender is something that’s good on its own, and if the series really wanted to bring us live-action bending, they should have just made a spinoff or sequel to the main story rather than retell what we already have. You know what fans have been clamoring for? An OVA adaptation of the comics; Netflix should probably look in on that before attempting a live-action series that will probably require a huge budget.
No release date has been set for the live-action Avatar, but you can catch the original animated series now on the streaming platform.