Avatar: The Last Airbender Creators Quit Live Series Adaptation

The fate of Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series is under turmoil as the original creators have bowed out due to creative differences. 

Photo Credit: Nickelodeon

Avatar: The Last Airbender (ATLA) was a beloved show that ran from 2005 to 2008, housing fans ranging from children to adults. Despite being a children’s show, it was so popular that it saw the creation in the sequel The Legend of Korra, which centered around more adult themes. And despite ending a full 12 years ago, the fanbase saw a resurgence in love and interest after Netflix bought streaming rights.

With a newfound love, many people were overjoyed to hear Netflix’s announcement of a live series adaptation. This was particularly exciting as fans found out that the original creators of ATLA would also be working on the live series. Many fans are still disgruntled about Shyamalan’s whitewashed attempts of ATLA, receiving a mere 5% on the Tomatometer on Rotten Tomaotes.  Hence, fans were excited at the prospect of a faithful adaptation to the animation.

Unfortunately, creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko took to their personal social media to announce their departure on the show to the dismay of many awaiting fans. They stated Netflix was not supportive of their vision and that it was “time to cut their losses and move on.”

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Well, friends… there you have it. Big sigh. ?⬇️? I’m sure many of you will understandably want to know more and will ask me questions in the comments, here and on subsequent posts and live-streams and in-person encounters and everywhere else ad infinitum. I wish I could explain things in greater detail, but the above statement is really all I can say about the matter so I won’t be answering any of those. I encourage you to head over to my partner Michael DiMartino’s account to get his take on our departure too: @mike_dante_d Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of the Avatar: The Last Airbender fans, and I’m sorry our involvement in the live-action project did not work out. Time to get on with my life. Onward and upward. ? Love, Bryan #avatarthelastairbender #cocreators #michaeldimatino #bryankonietzko #bryke #atla #liveactionseries #netflix

A post shared by Bryan Konietzko (@bryankonietzko) on

Though Konietzko and DiMartino may have cited creative differences as to why they left, fans speculate that there was more than the surface showed. The creators promised fans that their adaptation would not follow Shymalan’s failed one and would ensure to stay faithful to Asian culture and philosophy. However, with their departure, people immediately assumed this was due to Netflix’s failure in casting POC. Another theory was that the adaptation would stray away from the show in its light-hearted nature. Some believe that Netflix was trying to force mature themes and romances that did not align with the creators’ vision, prompting them to leave. Sadly, we may never find out the real reason.

Summed up perfectly by DiMartino, he quotes Uncle Iroh,

“Sometimes life is like this dark tunnel. You can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you just keep moving you will come to a better place.”

Though the original creators may not be working on the live adaptation series, they have both promised to continue on the legacy of ATLA.

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