There seems to be trouble brewing in paradise, as Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action TV series has gone from beacon of hope to impending train wreck. The project started out as a chance to scrub M. Night Shyamalan’s terrible The Last Airbender from our memories, with fans excited by the fact that the original animated show creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, were involved with the project.
This was further bolstered by reports that the show was set to become Netflix’s most expensive series yet, which sounded like a match made in heaven – the original creators plus a massive bankroll, what could go wrong? And then they announced their exit.
The exact reason for their departure is unknown, with their statement saying they left due to creative differences between the duo and the streaming giant. Now, this news has given way to some intense internet whiplash, with the rise of the trending hashtag #CancelNetflixATLALiveAction being propagated by fans.
— Ash💕 (@TrueBadAsh) August 14, 2020
Some folks have been speculating about the details behind the split between the creators and Netflix, and “insider” reports are claiming that the streaming giant is going back on its original plan to have no white leads in the show. Meanwhile, other rumors mention the attempted sexualization of the characters, which is troubling as the main cast of the animated show are primarily children. But as is the norm online, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction.
Netflix claims they want ATLA to be "more mature" completely missing the point of the show which deals with incredibly mature topics and spirituality; it was a show children could learn from.
Adding teenage drama, "romance" and "sex" to it disgusts me#CancelALTALiveAction
— lena👁️ (@lmaoleny) August 14, 2020
However, we should make it absolutely clear that none of these stories are based on actual facts or confirmation from any of the parties involved. So, fact-check pending for now.
— (*^_^*) (@deylinalice) August 14, 2020
The battle lines are slowly being drawn though, and it’s becoming a very Netflix vs. the fandom situation.
— ||Jordan Novak|| (@Tired_Barnes) August 14, 2020
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Maybe there’s some merit to the idea of just adapting the extended universe backstories from the graphic novels?
— Annaliese ℋeindel (@Annaliese119) August 14, 2020
Fans are understandably upset, especially given that nobody wants to be burnt twice in the exact same manner with a substandard adaptation.
— Josh_Harbaugh (@JoshHarbaugh3) August 14, 2020
— ✨ um, no❤️ (@WYM_O) August 14, 2020
#CancelNetflixATLALiveAction guys instead of being mad at the live action let’s take today to celebrate KORRA DROPPING ON NETFLIX and then we can rant another day because we know damn well it’s needed ✌🏽#TLOK #LOK pic.twitter.com/uGizYP2t2D
— Jeffrey Salone (@jeffrey_salone) August 14, 2020
The live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender show is off to an extremely rocky start, before even being released. This doesn’t bode well for the streaming platform, but the odds of it actually being canceled seem quite low at this stage. Let’s just hope that Netflix is getting the message and working toward launching a series that does justice to the franchise. In the meantime, as one wise fan suggests, let’s celebrate the release of The Legend of Korra on the platform, as it finally arrived today.