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Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender showrunner felt "intimidated" when the original creators left

"My first reaction after 'Hell yeah!' was 'Holy s--t!'"

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the showrunner of Netflix's live action take on Avatar: The Last Airbender felt a bit stressed out when the original show's creators left.

When it was first announced that Netflix would be making a live action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the creators of the animated show, Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino were both attached. But a couple of years on, they both left the project due to creative differences. Now, speaking to Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Albert Kim has spoken about how it felt to continue running the show despite the original creators not being involved.

"You'd have to be an idiot not to be intimidated a little bit," Kim said. "My first reaction after 'Hell yeah!' was 'Holy s--t! Do I really want to do this? Is there a way to improve upon the original?' Whenever you tackle something that's already beloved by millions of fans, you have to ask yourself those questions." It's an understandable reaction given how beloved the animated show is to so many people, though Kim clearly stuck with it.

It's not like you won't feel any of Konietzko or DiMartino's work in the show, though, as Kim did speak with them about various smaller details to get a good understanding of how to best tell the story. "It ran the range of really nerdy little things that no one except for diehard fans might wonder about - questions about Katara’s mom or Aang’s parentage - to bigger picture stuff about how to translate what made the original so special into a live-action version." Though he did also want to make it clear that "This is Avatar: The Last Airbender, but it is our [sic] version of Avatar: The Last Airbender."

The live action take on Avatar is set to drop February 22 next year, so just a couple of months away, available only on Netflix.

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Oisin Kuhnke avatar

Oisin Kuhnke


Oisin is a non-binary writer based in the UK with bylines in Polygon, Fanbyte, Uppercut, Rock Paper Shotgun, GameSpot, and many more besides.