Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, co-creators of Netflix’s live-action adaptation of their original animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, have left the project.
DiMartino wrote an open letter to fans on his website
“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.”
Though Netflix said it “was committed to honouring our vision for this retelling and to supporting us on creating the series,” DiMartino wrote, “Unfortunately, things did not go as we had hoped.”
He continued, “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.”
“And who knows? Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Avatar has the potential to be good,” he wrote. “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 made clear, that while he’s exiting the project, it does not mean the end of his involvement in the Avatar universe as the stories and characters are important to him.
“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.”
The project is still moving forward with Nickelodeon, Dan Lin and Lin’s Rideback still attached. According to a source, there had been creative differences on how best to adapt the animated series into the live action series between DiMartino and Konietzko and Netflix and the other creatives throughout the development process over the past two years,