“We removed that particular ticking clock”: Avatar: The Last Airbender Relegating Sozin’s Comet to the Sidelines Might Explain Original Creators’ Leaving the Netflix Show 

Avatar: The Last Airbender’s original creators shock exit might’ve been due to this reason!

“We removed that particular ticking clock”: Avatar: The Last Airbender Relegating Sozin’s Comet to the Sidelines Might Explain Original Creators’ Leaving the Netflix Show 

SUMMARY

  • Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dant have decided to leave Avatar: The Last Airbender after filming season 1.
  • It has been theorized the original creatives left due to creative differences.
  • One of the major reasons might be the sidelining of Sozin's Comet storyline.
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Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the original creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender, may have worked on a live-action adaptation of the beloved animated series for Netflix for years. However, the announcement that they were leaving the project due to creative differences came as a shock to the fans. 

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Perhaps for that reason, Netflix’s live-action upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender has not yet received the green light for a second season. It seems like the showrunner, Albert Kim, just does not have room in his mind to even consider that. 

The timeline of the live-action series has already undergone a substantial change, according to Kim, who spoke with Entertainment Weekly. Instead of spanning more than a year like the source material and highlighting Sozin’s Comet as a pivotal plot point, the exact time frame during which the show takes place has been removed. 

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A still from Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series
A still from Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Impact of Relegating Sozin’s Comet

The live-action eight-episode series Avatar: The Last Airbender has already undergone a significant timeline shift, showrunner Albert Kim revealed to Entertainment Weekly, ahead of its February premiere. Although Sozin’s Comet is a central plot point, the exact period of time the show takes place has been altered; unlike the original source material, which takes place over a year. This upcoming live-action has skipped that part.  

“All three seasons of the animated series essentially take place in the course of one calendar year. There was no way we could do that. So we had to design this first season, especially, to accommodate the possibility of some time elapsing between the first and the second season. The comet was their ticking clock. We removed that particular ticking clock from our show for now because we couldn’t know exactly how old our actors would be for the subsequent seasons.”

A Still from Avatar: The Last Airbender’s trailer
A Still from Avatar: The Last Airbender’s trailer

In addition, the Comet will not be addressed at this time to “accommodate” the young cast’s natural aging in between possible seasons. Kim added: 

“We definitely thought about that going into season 1 so that we can accommodate for puberty, adolescence, time passing — all of those fun things that happen to real-life human beings that don’t happen to animated characters.”

Every 100 years, Sozin’s Comet crosses Earth in the universe of Avatar: The Last Airbender, giving firebenders extraordinary power as it skims the atmosphere. They can also accomplish amazing feats like controlling massive flame waves to scorch the Earth and propelling themselves into the air. Thus, the coming seasons will be greatly affected by the comet’s removal.

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Albert Kim: It Was ‘Absolutely’ Daunting to Make Live-Action Series After the Original Creators Left 

Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender (2024)
Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender (2024)

Creative differences led Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, the brains behind the original Avatar: The Last Airbender, to announce their departure from Albert Kim’s live-action adaptation project. With no backing from the franchise’s original creators, Kim found it “absolutely” daunting. He described to Entertainment Weekly the experience of carrying on with the show without Konietzko and DiMartino.

“You’d have to be an idiot not to be intimidated a little bit. My first reaction after ‘Hell yeah!’ was ‘Holy s*it! 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.”

DiMartino stated in an open letter (via EW) that he and Konietzko wrote after leaving the live-action series that they “could not control the creative direction of the series”. 

“When Bryan and I signed on to the project in 2018, we were hired as executive producers and showrunners. In a joint announcement for the series, Netflix said that it was committed to honoring our vision for this retelling and to supporting us on creating the series. And we expressed how excited we were for the opportunity to be at the helm. Unfortunately, things did not go as we had hoped.”

The exit of the original creators has left a void in Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender crew, which won’t be easy to fill. While the future of the live-action adaptation hangs in uncertainty, fans can only hope that the show finds the right direction before they lose all interest.

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Avatar: The Last Airbender is set to stream on Netflix on February 22.

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Written by Siddhika Prajapati

Articles Published: 1534

Between everyday normalities and supernatural abnormalities, Siddhika Prajapati finds the story in everything. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism (from Delhi University), her undying need to deduce the extraordinary out of simplicity makes her a vibrant storyteller.

Serving as a Senior Entertainment Writer at Fandom Wire and having written over 1500 pieces, Siddhika has also worked with multiple clients and projects over the years, including Indian Express, India Today, and Outlook Group.

Who knows, maybe your next favorite persona on the screen will be crafted by her.