'Avatar: The Last Airbender': Creators abandon new 'live-action' adaptation for creative differences
Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino had been developing the project for the streaming platform for two years.
Crisis in the live-action adaptation of one of today's best animation franchises: the new version of Avatar: The Last Airbender will have to continue without its creators, Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, who yesterday announced their departure of the television adaptation that Netflix is preparing.
Michael Dante DiMartino yesterday published an open letter on his personal blog in which he broke the news: "In June of this year, after two years of development work, Bryan Konietzko and I made the difficult decision to quit production. When Bryan and I signed for the project in 2018, we were hired as executive producers and showrunners. In a joint announcement for the series, Netflix said they were committed to respecting our vision for this count and supporting us in creating the series. And we expressed how excited we were at the chance to be at the forefront. Unfortunately, things haven't gone as we expected."
The creative differences between the creators and the network in relation to Avatar: The Last Airbender, says Michael Dante DiMartino, came to affect him personally: "I realized that I could not control the creative direction of the series, but I could control how to respond. So I chose to leave the project. It's been the toughest professional decision I've ever made and certainly not one I've made lightly, but it was necessary for my happiness and my creative integrity."
For his part, Bryan Konietzko has also wanted to offer his version of the conflict and, through Instagram, has shared a message in which he also shows his disappointment about the development of things over the past two years. What's more, Konietzko has described the working environment as hostile and regretted the fact that he has been systematically ignored in relation to the spirit of the series and the universe of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Late yesterday, Netflix issued a brief statement confirming the departure of Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino of Avatar: The Last Airbender with these words: "We have absolute respect and admiration for Michael and Bryan and for the history they have created in the Avatar animated series. Although they have decided to abandon the live-action project, we are confident in the creative team and their adaptation."
We will see what happens to this ambitious project that had already been in development for two years and which, given the situation, is more than likely to have to start from scratch.