It’s a sad day for us all as co-creators of one of the most popular cartoons in Avatar: The Last Airbender have not only cut ties with Netflix but have also announced that they will no longer be involved with the live-action adaptation of the series.
Both Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko both announced their departure Wednesday morning. Konietzko took it to his Instagram to post the news while DiMartino posted on his website an open letter. DiMartino and Konietzko have both worked under Nickelodeon Animation Studios to finish the masterpiece of a series.
“Many of you have been asking me for updates about the Avatar live-action Netflix series,” DiMartino wrote. “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.”
Sadly enough, if you’ve read through DiMartino’s letter, it said that though they were signed as executive producers and showrunners back in 2018, they did not have the freedom to guide the show to the right place.
Konietzko followed-up on the fact, saying that Netflix has promised to support their decisions and visions––but “there was no follow-through on that promise.”
“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 to CBC. “Although they have chosen to depart the live action project, we are confident in the creative team and their adaptation.”
“Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Avatar has the potential to be good,” DiMartino 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.”
Some powerful words from DiMartino––a testament to their hardworking principles and passion for the series. If any other platform could respect their decisions as executive producers and showrunners, the series might go even further.