Avatar: The Last Airbender: Netflix finally comments after creators’ sudden exit
Yesterday, Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s original creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko announced that they will officially no longer be involved in Netlfix’s highly-anticipated live-action series adaptation of the popular animated series. Because of this, the ATLA fandom has been struck with sadness and anger over the loss with most fans becoming doubtful and worried that Netflix might not deliver the adaptation that they’ve been hoping for.
Following the creators’ controversial exit, the streaming giant has finally broken their silence regarding the issue by assuring ATLA fans that they’re still confident that the project’s current creative team can provide great results that would give justice to the animated series.
“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 (via Variety). “Although they have chosen to depart the live-action project, we are confident in the creative team and their adaptation.”
According to both DiMartino and Konietzko’s statements yesterday, they’ve ultimately decided to leave the project due to creative differences as Netflix had failed to keep their promise of giving them creative control over the live-action series. Since all three seasons of the animated series made their Netflix debut last May, it instantly became one of the streamer’s most popular content.
The live-action version of the hit Nickelodeon animated series was first ordered at Netflix in September 2018. The animated version aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon from February 2005 to July 2008. The series received substantial acclaim during its run, picking up multiple Annie Awards, Genesis Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a Peabody Award. The sequel series, “Legend of Korra,” aired for four seasons from 2012-2014.
The original Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series aired on Nickelodeon from 2005-2008. In 2007, Sangjin Kim won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation for the series, which ran for 61 episodes.
In the series, the world is divided into four nations — the Water Tribe, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads — each represented by a natural element for which the nation is named. Benders have the ability to control and manipulate the element from their nation. Only the Avatar is the master of all four elements. The ruthless Fire Nation wants to conquer the world but the only bender who has enough power, the Avatar, has disappeared … until now. His tribe soon discovers that Aang is the long-lost Avatar. Now Katara and Sokka must safeguard Aang on his journey to master all four elements and save the world from the Fire Nation.
In 2010, M. Night Shyamalan adapted The Last Airbender for the big screen, which earned over $319 million at the worldwide box office off of a $150 million production budget. The movie was met with harsh reviews from critics and fans of the beloved animated series, especially given the whitewashing controversy.