'Avatar: The Last Airbender' creators leave Netflix's live adaptation
Avatar: The Last Airbender may become a live-action flick, but it'd be far from what the original creators, Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, have imagined it to be. That's because they have opted out of their most-coveted live adaptation of the project they had developed for two years. DiMartino spoke for both of them in an open letter on his website on Wednesday.
In the letter, it's written that the two animation directors took the decision to leave the project in June this year. DiMartino wrote that "things did not go as we had hoped," referring to Netflix's previous agreement to support them in the retelling of this smash-hit animated series for a live adaptation. The general handling of the project created an "unsupportive environment," he added.
"I realized I couldn't control the creative direction of the series, but I could control how I responded. So, I chose to leave the project. It was the hardest professional decision...but it was necessary for my happiness and creative integrity," DiMartino further wrote.
After DiMartino's disclosure, Netflix released a statement thanking the original creators for their immense contribution in developing the project. The spokesperson for the project added that Nickelodeon is still on board in the production process and "we are confident in the creative team and their adaptation." Apart from Nickelodeon, Dan Lin (noted film producer) and his company Rideback are also attached to the project.
In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the story dwells upon the four cardinal elements of fire, water, air and earth on the basis of which nations are divided across the world. The Avatar, a being with supernatural powers restores balance, gets destroyed by the invading Fire nation. That's when an Avatar is needed and a teen named Aang has to come to rescue the world.
The animated TV series ran for three seasons on Nickelodeon from February 2005 to July 2008, amassing huge popularity among cartoon fans who started comparing it with Japanese anime for its uncanny resemblance in character building and storyline. It also has won several awards over the years. Now with Konietzko and DiMartino leaving, does Netflix stand on losing ground? Only time will tell.