Netflix’s Live-Action ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Series Loses Original Creators

Michael Dante DiMartino said he and Bryan Konietzko exited in June over creative differences

Last Updated: August 12, 2020 @ 12:25 PM

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” Netflix’s live-action reboot of anime series has lost Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the creators behind the original animated series.

The two were supposed to serve as showrunners for the streamer’s live-action reimagining of the Nickelodeon cartoon.

“Many of you have been asking me for updates about the Avatar live-action Netflix series. 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,” DiMartino wrote on his personal website Wednesday.

The series will move forward with Nickelodeon, executive producer Dan Lin and the team at Lin’s production company Rideback.

“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. “Although they have chosen to depart the live action project, we are confident in the creative team and their adaptation.”

DiMartino ascribed the decision to creative issues between them and Netflix throughout the last two years of development on the series.

“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 I’ve ever had to make, and certainly not one that I took lightly, but it was necessary for my happiness and creative integrity,” he continued. “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.”

The original “Avatar: The Last Airbender” aired for three seasons (61 episodes) from 2005 to 2008 on Nickelodeon. The show follows the adventures of Aang and his friends, who must save the world by defeating Fire Lord Ozai and ending the destructive war with the Fire Nation.

The cartoon has been adapted into a comic book and graphic novel series and the 2010 live-action feature film, “The Last Airbender,” directed by M. Night Shyamalan.