Creators of 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Walk Away From the Netflix Adaptation
They say all good things come to those who wait. While it's a sentiment that's been around for a long time, some are now questioning if that's really true after it was announced the Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix series release date remained uncertain in the wake of the show's creators' departure.
Netflix is developing a live-action remake of 'Avatar: The Last Airbender.'
According to The Wrap, in 2018, Netflix announced a live-action remake of the popular show Avatar: The Last Airbender was in the works. At the time, it was said that the original creators of the show, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, would serve as executive producers and showrunners of the new live-action remake.
"We’re thrilled for the opportunity to helm this live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender,” Michael and Bryan said in a statement. “We can’t wait to realize Aang’s world as cinematically as we always imagined it to be, and with a culturally appropriate, non-whitewashed cast."
Adding, "It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build upon everyone’s great work on the original animated series and go even deeper into the characters, story, action, and world-building. Netflix is wholly dedicated to manifesting our vision for this retelling, and we’re incredibly grateful to be partnering with them.”
At the time, it seemed like Netflix was cool with the showrunners' vision for the remake.
“We are committed to honoring Bryan and Mike’s vision for this retelling and are thrilled to support them on creating a live-action event series, bringing Aang’s epic world of elemental magic to life for global audiences on Netflix,” Melissa Cobb, then Netflix’s Vice President of Kids and Family Content, said back in 2018.
'Avatar's Netflix series release date remains up in the air due to creative differences.
Michael and Bryan ultimately walked away when it became apparent that the vision that they wanted would not be what was put on screen.
"Many of you have been asking me for updates about the Avatar live-action Netflix series,” Michael wrote in an open letter to fans posted on his website. “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.”
"When Bryan and I signed on to the project in 2018, we were hired as executive producers and showrunners. In a joint announcement for the series, Netflix said that it was committed to honoring our vision for this retelling and to supporting us on creating the series," he continued. "And we expressed how excited we were for the opportunity to be at the helm. Unfortunately, things did not go as we had hoped."
While the two are leaving the live action remake, Michael isn't throwing away the whole project — but it will be without him. "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," he said. "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."
While the two showrunners have left the project and there's still a lot left unknown as to when it's going to be released, Netflix is still confident in the direction of the live remake.
“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, according to Deadline. “Although they have chosen to depart the live action project, we are confident in the creative team and their adaptation.”
Guess we will have to wait and see what happens.