While there has been lots of positive buzz generated since classic animated series Avatar: the Last Airbender was added to Netflix back in May, little is currently known about Netflix’s all-new live-action reboot. It was originally announced that series creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko (The Legend of Korra) would return for the new series, but as Deadline reported they have now officially confirmed they are no longer involved.
The creators announced their departure today on separate accounts. DiMartino discussed his decision on his website and later reposted it to his Instagram account. He confirmed that he and Konietzko were actively working on the series for two years as executive producers and showrunners before departing this past June. DiMartino explained that it ultimately came down to creative differences, and that Netflix did not treat them with the respect they had hoped for. In his open letter he revealed that this “was the hardest professional decision I’ve ever had to make, and certainly not one that I took lightly, but it was necessary for my happiness and creative integrity.”
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Konietzko spoke more specifically on the relationship between them and the team assembled at Netflix for the show. He emphasized that he and DiMartino were happy to act as overseers and collaborators, ensuring that the ideas in the series were true to the world and tone of the original. He also stated his pride and admiration for the talent of the team itself, wishing them the best in creating the series. However, he explained on Instagram that he felt a lack of respect: “When Netflix brought me on board to run this series alongside Mike two years ago, they made a very public promise to support our vision. Unfortunately, there was no follow-through on that promise … the general handling of the project created what I felt was a negative and supportive environment.”
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Ultimately, both expressed gratitude for the fans and resurgence in popularity the franchise has seen. They also assured that while they have left the reboot, they intend to remain as active roles in the original franchise going forward. “This doesn’t mean the end of my involvement in the Avatar universe,” DiMartino stressed in his statement. “These stories and characters are important to me and the renewed interest and excitement in Avatar and Korra has been inspiring to see.”
Netflix released a response to Deadline, thanking the creators for their input and legacy. “Although they have chosen to depart the live action project, we are confident in the creative team and their adaptation,” a spokesperson for the streaming service told Deadline.
On August 14th, Avatar sequel series The Legend of Korra will be added to Netflix. The original series is available to stream on Netflix right now.