Fans concerned after original ATLA creators exit Netflix’s live-action adaptation

Avatar: The Last Airbender, photo courtesy Nickelodeon
Avatar: The Last Airbender, photo courtesy Nickelodeon /

Original Avatar the Last Airbender creators exit Netflix adaptation.

According to Vox, after news broke that original Avatar the Last Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko would be exiting the planned live-action adaptation at Netflix, fans grew concerned about what might become of the show in the future.

Perhaps most jarring for long-time Avatar the Last Airbender devotees is how much this feels similar to what happened with the 2010 live-action film directed by M. Night Shyamalan, which famously bombed at the box office and has been heavily reviled by fans and critics.

The creators have gone on record to say they liked to pretend that movie did not even exist. Fans are worried the latest adaptation could be similar to the film debacle, and it’s disappointing considering how excited many were for the new series.

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Konietzko and DiMartino essentially said Netflix did not agree with many of their creative ideas and choices for the series, so ultimately they decided to walk away.

“[T]he general handling of the project created what I felt was a negative and unsupportive environment,” wrote Konietzko in a blog post.

In response, Netflix said they respected the beloved fantasy franchise creators but remained confident in the direction they were planning for the adaptation.

That said, fans have plenty of legitimate reasons to be concerned. For starts, many were hoping the show would be diverse and not whitewashed — as the 2010 film was. They wonder if Netflix disagreed with the casting decisions of the creators.

Also, Netflix’s previous live-action adaptations, like Death Note, which was based on the popular anime of the same name, was as viciously torn apart as Shyamalan’s film. Not only was Death Note whitewashed, but it was just a bad film all around.

Needless to say, the streaming service has not cultivated an excellent reputation for the way they handle these types of things and the creators exiting is not a good sign.

Avatar the Last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender, photo courtesy Nickelodeon /

Do we even need an Avatar the Last Airbender live-action series?

Another question to contend with is the necessity of the series at all. Why is it that creators feel animated shows need to be “remade” into something live-action? Animation is an art form in itself, it can stand on its own two feet.

The debate rages on about Hollywood’s obsession with turning animation into live-action, particularly with Disney who has been recreating all of their classic animated films into a live-action spectacle to varying degrees of success.

It often feels like Hollywood thinks animated isn’t good enough on its own merit, which is just not true.

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What do you think about the creators exiting Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Avatar the Last Airbender? Do you still plan on watching the show? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!