Avatar: The Last Airbender creators exit Netflix live-action adaptation - Dexerto
TV + Movies

Avatar: The Last Airbender creators exit Netflix live-action adaptation

Published: 12/Aug/2020 20:13 Updated: 3/Sep/2020 14:20

by Alan Bernal

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The creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, have left Netflix’s live-adaptation project, citing creative differences in a “negative and unsupportive environment.”

Two years ago in 2018, Netflix announced plans to create a “reimagined” version of the beloved animated series, with the two creators at the helm as executive producers. Since then, there’s been a deafening silence around the project with not much news around its production.

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However, it seems the first bit of meaningful news out of the project in a long time isn’t what hopeful fans of the show were expecting.

DiMartino and Konietzko issued separate statements hours apart from each other explaining why they had left the Netflix project.

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“Netflix said that it was committed to honoring our vision for this retelling and to supporting us on creating the series… Unfortunately, things did not go as we had hoped,” DiMartino said. “I realized I couldn’t control the creative direction of the series, but I could control how I responded. So, I chose to leave the project.”

Series partner Konietzko echoed similar sentiments but went a bit further about the environment within Netflix surrounding the latest version for the Last Airbender.

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“When Netflix brought me [and DiMartino on board], they made a very public promise to support our vision. Unfortunately, there was no follow-through on that promise.” he said. While early discussions might have been optimistic for Konietzko, “the general handling of the project created what I felt was a negative and unsupportive environment.”

This comes on the heels of the original series debuting, again, on Netflix in May. The positive reception to the show spanned generations as nostalgic adults reminisced while newer generations tuned in for the first time.

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Well, friends… there you have it. Big sigh. ?⬇️? I’m sure many of you will understandably want to know more and will ask me questions in the comments, here and on subsequent posts and live-streams and in-person encounters and everywhere else ad infinitum. I wish I could explain things in greater detail, but the above statement is really all I can say about the matter so I won’t be answering any of those. I encourage you to head over to my partner Michael DiMartino’s account to get his take on our departure too: @mike_dante_d Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of the Avatar: The Last Airbender fans, and I’m sorry our involvement in the live-action project did not work out. Time to get on with my life. Onward and upward. ? Love, Bryan #avatarthelastairbender #cocreators #michaeldimatino #bryankonietzko #bryke #atla #liveactionseries #netflix

A post shared by Bryan Konietzko (@bryankonietzko) on

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Back in 2018, longtime fans of the franchise were apprehensive about the streaming giant’s live-action plans. The burn from 2010’s film still left many uneasy, but knowing that the original creators were attached to the new show was encouraging, to say the least.

DiMartino and Konietzko are still hopeful that Netflix’s direction will be to the liking of old and new viewers, although they will no longer be working on it.

The two will still be involved in their Avatar universe. As Konietzko said, he’s still going to explore Avatar “projects that give me the most fulfillment, and where I am afforded trust and respect.”

World of Warcraft

Henry Cavill as Arthas in Warcraft 2 makes perfect sense: here’s why

Published: 7/Oct/2020 4:11 Updated: 7/Oct/2020 5:03

by Isaac McIntyre

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Okay World of Warcraft fans, it’s time to go all-in… Henry Cavill would make a perfect Arthas in Blizzard’s newly rumored Warcraft 2 revival, especially after proving he’s got the fantasy chops as Geralt of Rivia in Netflix’s The Witcher.

The original Warcraft movie came out back in 2016, and landed with mixed reviews. World of Warcraft fans loved it, of course; seeing characters like Anduin, Medivh, Gul’dan, and Durotan brought to life on the big screen was a dream come true.

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Critics and general audiences were less convinced. Duncan Jones’ high-fantasy romp in the world of Azeroth was dubbed a failure. A sequel was stamped ‘highly unlikely’ after the box office flop. 

Except, just four years later, the Warcraft rumor mill has thundered back to life. Legendary Entertainment has already green-lit a sequel, according to insider Daniel Ritchman, with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson involved.

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Warcraft raked in just $47.4 million in the United States, but made $391.7m overseas.
Legendary Entertainment
Warcraft raked in just $47.4 million in the States, but made $391.7m overseas.

And so, with Warcraft 2 reportedly in development, that leaves us with the biggest question for the sequel; what will the story be? Will the franchise take it step by step, and tell the story of “Tides of Darkness,” or head for a better-selling sequel?

In our opinion, Blizzard’s best bet for the sequel is to skip straight to “Reign of Chaos” and it’s genre-defining expansion “The Frozen Throne.” The third game’s storyline has plenty of ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ elements.

Enter fantasy’s man of the hour, Henry Cavill.

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Arthas Menethil is key to Warcraft 3, and Cavill is a perfect pick to play him. The prince’s path to the throne is littered with huge battles, dastardly schemes, and of course, the biggest twist Blizzard’s Warcraft franchise has ever offered up.

Reason number one: I mean, look at Henry Cavill. That speaks for itself.

Henry Cavill in a fan-mockup depicting him as Arthas Menethil.
Reddit: GeordieGamerGuy
Henry Cavill in a fan-mockup depicting him as Warcraft’s Arthas Menethil.

There are other reasons too though. One is that Cavill is a big World of Warcraft fan himself, meaning he’d likely be eager to sign on. I mean come on, the guy missed the news he had been cast as Superman because he was deep in a WoW raid.

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Former Blizzard figurehead Chris Metzen and Rise of the Lich King writer Christie Golden have both given Cavill’s fan-casting their tick of approval too; the Warcraft duo are well and truly “on the [Cavill as] Arthas train.”

Finally, Warcraft 2 will need ticket-selling star power. The first 2016 flick did have plenty of big names ⁠— Vikings lead Travis Fimmell was among them, as was Marvel’s Dominic Cooper ⁠— but none command the same household stardom as Henry Cavill.

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Cavill, 37, is a little old for Arthas in “Reign of Chaos” and “The Frozen Throne,” but if Legendary and Blizzard plan out a trilogy leading into “Wrath of the Lich King” ⁠— which they absolutely should ⁠— the British star will fit perfectly for Menethil’s final Warcraft hurrah.

Heck, cast a younger actor for the opening stage of the prince’s life, then bring Cavill in with a narrative time-jump in the third or fourth Warcraft movie.

Arthas Menethil and his path to the throne should be front and center in future Warcraft sequels.
Blizzard Entertainment
Arthas Menethil and his path to the throne should be front and center in future Warcraft sequels.

The Superman star isn’t the only name being linked to Warcraft 2 either. Fimmel is expected to return as Anduin in the sequel, as is Ben Schnetzer as Khadgar. Paula Patton has also said she’d “love” to return for another Warcraft outing.

The same insider reports that suggested Warcraft 2 is now in the works also tipped Jurassic World lead Chris Pratt as another star who has already been tabled a multi-movie deal.

Duncan Jones, who directed the 2016 release, also said he would happily return as long as there are “less cooks in the kitchen.” Blizzard has yet to officially respond to the reported new sequel, so take everything with a pinch of salt… for now.