In the letter, DiMartino said he and Konietzko signed on to the project in 2018 as executive producers and showrunners, while claiming that they did not have the freedom to guide the series as they saw fit. Konietzko echoed this statement, saying that – although Netflix has promised to back their vision – “there has been no follow-through on that promise.”
Netflix did not immediately respond to a CBC request for comment.
Avatar has seen a surge in popularity since arriving on Netflix’s list earlier this year. The show, which premiered in 2005, takes place in a world where some people have the ability to manipulate the four elements: fire, water, earth and air. It’s been one of Netflix’s 10 most watched shows for months and spawned a wave of social media posts discussing and praising the fifteen-year-old series.
Netflix announced plans to produce a live-action adaptation in 2018, with production initially slated for 2019. This was later moved to 2020, though COVID-19 restrictions pushed the schedule back indefinitely. Jeremy Zuckerman, who marked both the original series and its sequel The legend of Korra said he would return to compose music for the new show, while Konietzko had previously said he hoped to get Dante Basco involved, who voiced the show’s protagonist Zuko.
The Netflix adaptation is said to be the second live-action adaptation, following the largely panicked 2010 version of M. Night Shyamalan.
In their original press release discussing their roles in the new Netflix series, DiMartino and Konietzko said they would have “a culturally appropriate, unbleached cast” for which Shyamalan’s version was initially ridiculed. . And while they are no longer involved in the creation of the series, the two have spoken about the potential of the new series.
“Netflix’s live adaptation of Avatar has the potential to be good, ”DiMartino wrote. This could turn out to be a spectacle that many of you end up enjoying. But what I can be sure of is that whichever version ends up on screen, it won’t be what Bryan and I planned or planned to do. ”