Avatar: The Last Airbender won legions of new fans this summer thanks to the original animated Nickelodeon series coming to Netflix at a time when entertainment options have been more limited, and the streamer has even more content in the works thanks to the developing live-action remake initially involving the original creators. Unfortunately, creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko recently announced their departures from the live-action series, and fans are not happy about it.
First, here's what happened to upset fans. The live-action remake of Avatar: The Last Airbender was announced at Netflix back in 2018, and Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko signed on as showrunners and executive producers. Although neither original series creator got into details of what led to their departures, which happened in June, they did allude to creative differences.
Michael Dante DiMartino shared on his website that he chose to leave the Netflix show when he realized he "couldn't control the creative direction," and even though it was "the hardest professional decision" he'd ever had to make, it was necessary for his "happiness and creative integrity." Bryan Konietzko echoed the sentiments on Instagram, saying that Netflix did not follow through on the promise to support their vision, and "the general handling of the project created what I felt was a negative and unsupportive environment."
The news of the original creators, who were not involved in the widely-panned 2010 film adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, departing the Netflix project resulted in an outcry from fans of the animated show on Twitter, and they didn't mince words in sharing their feelings. Keep on reading for some examples!
One person went for all-caps and a screenshot of Michael Dante DiMartino's open letting from his website to vent their feelings, and it's clear from the "NO NO NO NO" that those feelings aren't positive. For another on Twitter, the departures of DiMartino and Konietzko are dealbreakers when it comes to Netflix's live-action remake:
idk if it’s just me, but if the original creators of avatar: the last airbender are no longer going to be involved in the process of making a live action series, i don’t wanna see it. the og show was a hit for a reason, guys. the creators know what they’re doing. let them create.
The reveal that the original creators are no longer on board with Avatar: The Last Airbender getting a second shot at the live-action treatment after the overwhelmingly negative response to the movie prompted one account to use a picture of Aang himself for a reaction:
Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko just made this year even worse for that particular person, so the picture of an exhausted and frustrated Aang seems pretty appropriate. Another social media user went to an Avatar: The Last Airbender character to vent their feelings as well, but in a very different direction:
This news is apparently so devastating that Azula herself would cry! Given that the Netflix remake will presumably be the first time Azula makes it to live-action as a major character due to The Last Airbender not getting a sequel, who can blame that Avatar: The Last Airbender fan from using her image? Somebody else on Twitter voiced just how much of a loss the creator departures may be:
You have the creators on board, who can give a billion more stories to fill in the gaps, and the power of a huge fandom behind you and you ruin it with your stupid, selfish corporate bs. Once the OGs leave, the show is doomed to be a shitty mess. RIP, Avatar.
Another post on social media really sums up the prevailing thoughts regarding the Avatar: The Last Airbender creators departing the Netflix adaptation without giving specific reasons why:
Despite the fan outcry at the departures of Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, Netflix is still moving forward with the live-action remake of Avatar: The Last Airbender. That said, there are no details about when the remake will actually make it to the small screen, so only time will tell what the show looks like as Aang and Co.'s second shot at live-action.
For now, you can find all three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender, all four seasons of sequel series The Legend of Korra, and even 2010's The Last Airbender film streaming on Netflix. For some alternate viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, check out our 2020 summer TV premiere schedule and our 2020 fall TV premiere guide.