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Avatar: the Last Airbender Creators No Longer Involved With Netflix Live-Action Remake

'Avatar' Creators No Longer Involved With Netflix Live-Action Remake

'Avatar' Creators No Longer Involved With Netflix Live-Action Remake

The live-action Netflix reboot was reportedly going to add new LGBTQ+ characters.


Ever since it was announced back in 2018, we've been really, really, REALLY looking forward to Netflix's new (and non-whitewashed!) live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender! With the beloved Nickelodeon animated series also being made available to stream for the first time on Netflix's platform earlier this year, there has been a renewed interest in the adventures of Aang, Sokka, Katara, and Toph—so it's safe to say that the fanfare for the show (that originally premiered back in 2005) is at an all-time high!

Though it's been a while since we've heard an update on the live-action ATLA, we did get some new news about it earlier today...unfortunately, it's just not the kind of news we want to hear...

According to a report from Variety, two of ATLA's original creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, are no longer going to be involved with the live-action Netflix project.

"Many of you have been asking me for updates about the Avatar live-action Netflix series," DiMartino wrote recently in an open letter to ATLA fans that he 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."

The reason for the exit? According to DiMartino's letter, creative differences. 

"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."

For longtime lovers of the franchise, this is not particularly good news, especially when you consider the absolute dumpster fire of a live-action ATLA film M. Night Shyamalan directed back in 2010. Fans were hoping that DiMartino and Konietzko, who originally signed on to be showrunners and exec. producers of the Netflix project, would help create the faithful (and GOOD) live-action series the fandom deserves. 

While we obviously don't know exactly what decisions were made that caused DiMartino and Konietzko to walk away, last we heard, the Netflix reboot was looking to add new LGBTQ+ characters into the mix, and we were totally looking forward to seeing what queerness would look like in the Avatar universe! (You know, besides the one minute we get at the very end of Legend of Korra.)

Although news like this is a bummer, DiMartino himself said he thinks the show might still be good, even without he and Konietzko's involvement. It's just not the kind of show he had planned.

"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."

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