Why Avatar Creators Left the Netflix Live-Action


Appa and Aang. Original Artwork by: Carter Bernard.

Avatar: The Last Airbender first aired in early 2005 and, since then, has gained a mass amount of popularity. The animated production transports children and people of all ages into a world where an average everyday human could obtain the ability to control one of the four elements. Ever since the television show ended in 2008, millions of fans had to sadly say goodbye until May 15, 2020. Thankfully, Netflix released the entire Avatar series, and the show continued to maintain one of the Top 10 spots, leaving other new releases such as Riverdale Season 4 and Sweet Magnolias in the dust.

Announced within the past few years, Netflix revealed to the public that they are currently in the works of creating a live-action Avatar television show. At first, many fans were resistant due to Hollywood’s first failure at a Live-Action Avatar in 2010. Nonetheless, after discovering that the original creators, Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, were going to work closely with Netflix to make sure an incident like 2010 would not happen again, fans began to feel at ease. However, on August 12, 2020, the public was informed that the creators had dropped out of Netflix’s upcoming production. But why?

After reading multiple articles and posts, the same response kept surfacing: Netflix, DiMartino, and Konietzko grew to find multiple disagreements within the production. Upon further research, on August 12, Konietzko posted a lengthy statement addressing his fans on Instagram: @bryankonietzko.  After kindly wishing everyone safety and his best wishes during the unprecedented times, he states that DiMartino and himself joined this production with a strong vision in mind. He says, while working on this project for the past two years, they felt a “negative and unsupportive environment” and later came to the decision that they would “not be able to meaningfully guide” this project any further. In addition, DiMartino’s website displays a letter to his fans revealing that he and Konietzko “couldn’t control the creative direction of the series” and, therefore, left. Rumors from fans continue to spread. Many believe that the DiMartino and Konietzko departure was due to the fact that Netflix intended to make the characters older and bring a sexual maturity aspect to the children’s show.  As fans discovered the news, they began wishing for DiMartino and Konietzko to return to the production, knowing how much value they could add to the show. However, Koniztzko informs us that “there is no doubt in my mind it was absolutely the right choice.”

Fans continue to grow apprehensive, hoping that they will not witness another failure. However, with so many successful Netflix Original shows such as The Umbrella Academy, Ozark and, Orange Is the New Black, it is likely that, with or without DiMartino and Konietzko, millions will still be curious to watch the Live-Action remake of the Avatar.