Recently I got back into atla again but while i was checking tumblr i noticed many fans that did not like the canon ships and brykes writing are now claiming that the head of the original series wanted a 4th and a 5th season of avatar. When it was originality stated by the creators that there were only 3 seasons planned. And regarding pairings the head writer wanted zutara to happen instead and kataang was never planned out even if the original creators said kataang was planned and was the dna of the show.
This claim comes from deviant art comment section.
A friend of mine worked briefly in the legal department at Nickelodeon and I have talked to some of the Avatar staff. The head writer Aaron Ehasz said there was to be a continuation because the series were based on Miyamoto Musashi's 'Book of Five Rings'. The ideas he had differed greatly from what Bryke eventually chose to do without his influence (He sated that Aang would find hidden airbenders, Iroh's journeys to the Spirit World would be explored, Zuko and Katara would eventually get together, Toph would receive character development concerning her relationship to her parents, etc.). The 3+ season idea fell through after Bryke made a deal with Paramount *early* on in Book 3 to have it be the final season (Paramount and Nickelodeon are both owned by Viacom). You'll notice through careful observation that Konietzko and DiMartino have only said they "planned three seasons" after the third season was near finished, and never before that. They are wishy-washy with everything they say, from Mako and Korra being "made for each other" in some interviews to "we knew we were going to have them break up" after they announced Korra/Asami was canon. The reasoning for cancelling all future seasons of ATLA was to work with a live action trilogy by Shyamalan, where each season of the animated series would correspond with one of the three films. Film trilogies in comparison to tetralogies and etc., are the standard and much more marketable. The success of Avatar did have Nickelodeon calling Bryke back to do another series. One of the ideas Bryke had was to focus on stories of Aang and Katara's children but this was considered too "similar" to the original series by Nickelodeon which would violate their contract with Paramount. They were, however, allowed to create a comic series about the adventures of Team Avatar after the war. As for the next animated series, they started working on a story featuring a new Avatar - thus Korra was born. I'll do my best to answer any further questions you have, or redirect you to people who know more about it than I.
Agree to disagree. Bryke were given a huge amount of freedom compared to other animated series. Most of LoK's failures were the result of Bryke's own poor writing. Nick messed up on LoK with terrible time slots and budget cuts but only because of the low ratings the series received. ATLA had a team of writers headed by Aaron Ehasz, while LoK was left almost entirely up to Bryke. In fact the best rated season of Korra (Book 3) had the least amount of input by Bryke. I can tell you without a doubt that ATLA would not be half the show it turned out to be if Bryke wrote most of it. Information from the I.P. Bible by Bryke reveals that Iroh was supposed to be evil all along and the only major female character on the show was Katara (Suki, Mai and Ty Lee didn't exist. Toph and Azula were guys). The series would have probably turned out to be a dismal failure without Ehasz and the enthusiastic writing team. Ehasz is a brilliant writer and humble enough to admit to his mistakes, unlike Bryke who seem to be arrogant jerks about everything and even made a comic blaming their fans for not liking LoK.
Hmm...I don't care for the romance much. None of the relationships in either ATLA or LoK were well-written with maybe the exception of Sokka/Suki but it lacked depth on Suki's end because she was undeveloped. Bryke often claim to have planned the Kataang romance from the start but that is simply untrue. Going back to the I.P. Bible will show you that it was supposed to remain a crush throughout the entire series because they thought kids would be turned off by it and needed more action. This is why the actual show has their relationship so one-sided with Katara's feelings for Aang remaining ambiguous/uninterested throughout (a remnant of the original concept). Joshua Hamilton has admitted that the writing team had ideas of Zuko and Katara becoming a couple since the first season, and they continued to play around with this idea all the way into the third season. So Zuko was originally supposed to be Katara's love interest but they were never allowed to actually go through with it because Bryke disapproved. Bryke hated that people preferred Zutara over Kataang and so they decided that they had to push for more Kataang (even if it did turn out to be incredibly forced). There was actually a couple of debates in the writing room over who Katara should end up with. They were still undecided even after the scrapping of the fourth season to make way for the movies. When Shyamalan questioned Bryke about who Katara was going to end up with, Bryke told him that they didn't know. Nickelodeon executives conducted some surveys and eventually stepped in to convince the writers to make Katara/Aang happen because Katara/Zuko would upset young children according to their marketing research lol.
Well, Mako/Korra was heavily telegraphed throughout Legend of Korra while Korra/Asami had barely any development...and the latter still happened. It's a little ridiculous because there is so much Makorra praise by Bryke in their audio commentaries, plenty of Makorra defense in their interviews, a romantic music theme composed just for them, and Makorra semi-official art by the Korean animators. It's pretty obvious Bryke broke up Makorra and had Korrasami happen due to fan reaction, but they claim it was not pandering in any form - apparently, Mako was just a false romantic lead and they had planned Korrasami before they even wrote the series but they never bothered actually doing it out of fear that Nick would poison their water supply or something (sure thing, Bryke...). There were supposed to be more than three seasons for ATLA so I wouldn't be that surprised if Zuko/Katara happened eventually. Katara could be re-written into a false lead for Aang...she was conceptualized as the target of Aang's one-sided crush for starters, and her actually becoming a couple with Aang wasn't something Bryke thought about until mid-way through Book 1 (probably as a reaction to the other writers playing with idea of Zuko/Katara). 'The Fortuneteller' episode hints at Katara/Aang but right after that in 'Bato of the Water Tribe', they hint at Zuko/Katara. This was produced long before a Zutara fanbase had even developed so it can't be discounted as just throwing a bone towards the shippers.
Many of the writers were actually shocked when the Avatar Book 3 finale had Katara/Aang happen because the only Kataang moment they had before that was Katara rejecting Aang because she was "confused". Katara's romantic feelings towards Jet were obvious but her feelings towards Aang are always so ambiguous. The Kataang development flip-flopped a lot between "forced mess" and "cute fluff" so I think the writers were unsure a lot of the time with how they felt about the ship. When Bryke wrote Kataang moments, a lot of it was very rushed or cringe-worthy (like Makorra was) and the other writers had to tone it down into something less obnoxious. The comics give Bryke much more control over the story so you can see how annoying the Kataang ship can be with their "sweetie" pet names and Katara serving no role outside of being Aang's arm-candy. Ehasz said that he would avoid love triangle drama and criticized LoK for playing it up so much. He emphasized the need for slow and subtle development in relationships, which is the complete opposite of LoK's blatant 'tell-not-show' formula. So I really don't think ATLA would have turned out like LoK in that regard.
According to one person who talked to Ehasz (their livejournal is purged now but it matches up exactly with the Book 4 information other people give):
"Aaron said the rock jabbing into Aang's back was silly and wouldn't have had Aang get into a relationship with Katara at the end of Avatar. Instead he wanted Aang to go through the the repercussions of using energybending. As a consequence for choosing not to take Ozai's life - a darkness would start to bloom within Aang, stemming from the guilt of taking away the his bending; which broke the former Fire Lord's will to live. Energybending is a dangerous art and has the power to corrupt the user. Aang needed to go on a journey to rediscover himself, this leads him to split up from the rest of Team Avatar and head towards the Air Temples again. There he learns about powerful airbending techniques and makes important discoveries about the history of his people. During Aang's disappearance, Zuko and Katara would grow closer. Aang loves Katara but not in the way he should, as it was based on replacing the absence of the Air Nomads, and Pathik believes he never learned what it meant to "let go" of her. Aang and Katara are not on the same wavelength as there are many times where Katara attempts to shelter him from the harsh realities of life - which creates a chasm between them. Katara discovers she can communicate so much more easily with Zuko, and he with her. Aang finds out that some of his people were alive all along and just hiding; living their lives for the past hundred years without him. His love for Katara grew from the love of the Air Nomads, so what if his people came back? Would he realize that his love for her was not as genuine as he once thought? Ehasz really wanted to use these developments to have Aang challenge himself and test whether he truly would be willing to sacrifice his own happiness for the stability of the world like a good Avatar should. The dark and light within Aang alluded to him carrying the spirit of the planet within him, which was becoming unbalanced due to the stress he was suffering from energybending. Bryke later took this dark-light concept and used them to form Raava and Vaatu for Legend of Korra. Except in Korra, the Avatar carried only the spirit of light and not both though the spirit of the planet."
Yikes! This is a Great Wall of Ba Sing Se amount of text.
Its not just that but this claim comes from many people who worked for nick at the time and they post these claims on tumblr plus they also prefer zutara.
Edited by rikakim94, 11 September 2016 - 04:24 PM.