Fan Casting Legend of Korra
Updated: Jan 26
Many of you guys may have come across our little fan cast of Avatar the Last Airbender for the upcoming live action Netflix show. No? well we recommend you check it out. As you know the sequel series to the beloved animated show is Legend of Korra which is now available on Netflix UK. So to celebrate the two animated shows, we did a fan cast for Legend of Korra to show our love for the franchise and their characters. We will not be including characters from the previous article even if they show up in Legend of Korra as adults as we are going only focus on the characters that debut in Legend of Korra.
Starting us off is the titular character Korra. Born in the Southern Water tribe to Tonraq and Senna. Unlike Aang she managed to bend water, fire and earth pretty easily from the get go. It is with air bending and her spiritual side she struggles to master and learn. Impressively she is the first avatar to metal bend however and it is through her series we learn about Rava and Vatu as well as the origins of Avatar Wan the very first Avatar. For the role of Korra, we felt someone of Oceanian Origins would be suitable to match the fact she is from the Southern Water Tribe, keeping this in mind the best known actress we can think of is Madeleine Madden. She is an Australian actress of Aboriginal descent, specifically Eastern Arrernte ethnicity. She has had many roles in Australia such as Williemai in Around the Block, Marion Quade in Picnic at Hanging Rock and Crystal Swan in Mystery Road. She has recently appeared in the Hollywood adaptation of Dora the Explorer as Sammy in Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Whilst she is in her early 20s she could pass herself off as late teens which would be Korra's age in the series.
One of Korra's first friends is Asami, a non-bender who is believed to be a descendant of both Earth and Fire nationals. Some rumours even have her as a potential descendant of the bounty hunter June from the previous series. She proves to be a capable ally both in combat and as a thinker somewhat playing a similar role to Sokka in the previous series. Appropriating a stun gauntlet generally helps her even the odds against some Benders, she proves to be a popular mainstay in the avatar franchise as a whole. For the role of the beautiful Asami we felt Asian American actress Lily Chee would be the right fit. Lily Chee is best known for playing young Elektra in Marvel Netflix's Daredevil, a role in which she learnt some martial arts and likely would use them again. As she is 17 years old and stands at 5'9" (Asami is quite a tall young lady too) she actually fits Asami age and build to a tee.
Mako. The resident Firebender of the new team Avatar. Mako was named after the original voice actor for uncle Iroh from the parent series. Being an athletic and charming young man who grows from being a Pro-Bending athlete to a police detective in Republic City, his character tends to be one of the more mature yet serious teenagers of the series. He is somewhat comparable to Zuko if Zuko had a better relationship with his sibling and no abusive father in the picture. He is also quite the ladies man swaying Korra and Asami's attention. For the role of Mako, we have Chinese American martial artist and actor Brandon Soohoo. He was a close consideration for Zuko but as we went with Ryan Potter. We decided to go with Brandon for Mako. Many G.I.Joe fans will recognise Brandon as young Storm Shadow in the G.I.Joe films where he gets to demonstrate his martial arts prowess. He even played Zuko in an Avatar Fan film but we definitely see him as Mako aswell.
Bolin is the resident Earth Bender of the Avatar Gang. A young muscular man though somewhat naive and sweet, Bolin sometimes provides the comic relief for the team with his immaturity and loveable personality. This doesn't mean he should be underestimated in anyway as he is the only other Earthbender in the series who learns to Lava Bend besides Ghazan. So he certainly has talent. Going from a Pro-bending athlete to a movie star and then a member of Kuvira's army, he certainly grows over the course of the series. For the role of Bolin we felt Vietnamese born Japanese Australian actor Akira Fujii would be a decent fit. While he has mostly worked on in minor and extra roles so far. His age of 23 and physical height any 5'11" makes him fit Bolin's young age yet his muscular build too. His backstage profile states he has martial arts training too, he'd just need to bulk up a bit more to really fill out Bolin's sleeves for a role like this.
Tenzin the youngest of Aang's children. Being the head of the air nation is a big responsibility though it was only his children and himself left. His main role was to mentor Korra in air bending and her spiritual skills, The latter of which he struggled with due to not being able to access his spiritual side as well as his father or daughter Jinora. After Harmonic Convergeance lead to multiple non-benders now having the ability to Airbender. Tenzin found a new responsibility, to recruit the new air benders and lead the ever growing air nation. For the role of Tenzin, we felt Keanu Reaves could be the right shout, Keanu Reeves has a long history of action and martial arts role as many of you would have seen him in John Wick or the Matrix franchise at least where he "knows Kung-Fu". Interestingly he also fit Tenzin's mixed heritage quite well. As Tenzin's parents are Aang and Katara, Tenzin and his siblings would resemble someone who has mixed East Asian and Native American origins.. The Lebanese born Canadian actor Keanue Reaves has Chinese heritage much like Forrest Wheeler (who we suggested for Aang) and Native Hawaiian heritage (much like Auli'i Cravalho who we suggested for Katara). Due to also having an English mother and some Irish, Portuguese heritage from his Dad. Keanu Reeves is quite pale which perfectly fits Tenzin's appearance too. Only he needs to shave his hair and he'd be perfect.
The loving wife of Tenzin. We have a non-bender Pema who spends most of the series looking after her kids, Jinora, Ikki, Meelo and Rohan. Though she may stay out of the action most the time. In the series finale she helps Wu and the others evacuate the city during Kuvira's attack. While it is not a lot to go on, her role as a loyal house wife and protective mum gives us the impression that Taiwanese American actress Constance Wu could really pull it off. Wu is best known for playing Jessica Huang in Fresh off the Boat. The Matriarch of the Huang family. While Pema will be a more quiet passive character in comparison, Wu experience in the role just fits perfectly. Plus Wu is not martial arts actress and Pema is not a fighter in any sense at all, so this character feels like the perfect reason to get Wu on board for a role in the Legend of Korra.
First child of Pema and Tenzin. Meet Jinora the first air bending master of her generation. Whilst she generally starts off as one of the kids in Korra's eyes. From the second series onwards, she matures into a more proactive character using her unique spiritual abilities to help Korra against the spirits and later Unalaq/Vatu. She also plays an important role in the later seasons as a one of the more competent air benders and uses her spiritual abilities to locate missing allies like her beloved boyfriend Kai and as well as Korra. For the role of Jinora, we felt Siena Agudong would be a decent fit, she is coincidently of Hawaiian, Filipina and European orign which would fit well with her onscreen parents. Being 16 maybe a bit older than when we first meet Jinora but considering we have some of our child actors be slightly older than their cartoon counterparts its kinda take what we can find. Siena is best known for her roles as Lulu Parker in Killer Women, Natlee in Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn. She also plays the lead role as Sophia Miller in Starfalls and Nick in No Good Nic. Considering her experience as a lead actress, she should be able to fit her role as Jinora quite well and live up to fans expectations.
Ikki the second child of Pema and Tenzin. Also the younger sister of Jinora and older Sister to Meelo and Rohan. Ikki doesn't get much character development in comparison to her older sister. Her most centric episode falls into middle child syndrome territory where she feels her siblings do not listen to her at all when the three of them are tasked with searching for Korra. She does at least get credit for suggesting they head to the swamp after she manages to get information out of the Earth Queen's guards on where they have searched and patrolled This lead to her correctly suspecting Korra's location is in the Swamps. For the role of Ikki, we have Shuya Sophia Cai, a 12 year old actress born in Shanghai to a British father and Chinese Mother. She has so far had two acting roles as Peng Jiani in Somewhere Only We Know and her most recent role was as Meiying in the Jason Statham creature feature The Meg. So she is also the right age to fit in between our choices for Jinora and Meelo, so that works too.
Meelo the third child of Pema and Tenzin, also their first son and quite the oddball with a loud, brash and worryingly "keen to fight" personality. Meelo was certainly Avatar's universe of Scrappy both annoying and entertaining depending on who you ask. But in the end of the day, he has no problem pull his tiny weight around when it matters. Doesn't matter than he is barely a teenager until the final season, he can still successfully kick some ass using his Airbending (and wind breaking can we add). For the role of this strange little rascal we have Asian Canadian child actor Ian Ho. Despite being 9 years old and only having started out in 2018. He has a decent list of roles in his career. In fact he has 14 acting credits to his name and he aint even at double digits age wise. Impressive can we say? He voiced Flicker in Mighty Express, played roles like Ryan in Handmaiden's Tale, Nicky Nelson in A Simple Favour, Jacob Zellman in Babysitters Guide to Monster Hunting and his latest one so far is Tase Boone in Chappelwaite. So it feels like a no brainer to have him as Meelo.
Bumi the oldest of Aang's children. Initially a non-bender, Bumi likely spent more time with his Uncle Sokka (a fellow non-bender) while his parents prioritised his bending siblings. Unsurprisingly Bumi inherits some of his uncle eccentric and wacky personality though one has to wonder if he inherited his craziness from Aang's friend Bumi who he is named after. Either way despite his age he is a military tactician and also provides help to the team. This gets a step higher when following Harmonic Convergence, he discovers he is now an Airbender and its up to his little brother Tenzin to help train him. While he struggles with Tenzin's tough sergeant act we see by the final series he is realised Airbender and in much better shape now than when he was in the military. For the role of Bumi, we felt martial arts actor Jason Scott Lee was the perfect choice. He is similar in age to Keanu Reeves who would be his onscreen brother and also shares the same Hawaiian and Chinese heritage which perfectly fits Bumi's appearance too. Lee is best known for roles such as Bruce Lee in Dragon" The Bruce Lee story, Mowgli in the Jungle Book, Aladdin in the Arabian Nights Miniseries, Hades Day in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny and finally Bori Khan in the 2020 Mulan Film.
Moving onto Kya, the second child of Aang and Katara. Their only daughter, she was named after Katara's Mother whom Katara loved very much. Kya being the water bender out of her siblings, she spent more time with her Mother Katara much like Tenzin did with his Father Aang. She is generally a side character who mediates between her brothers and their differences. Though she isn't without her own issues, she is relatively one of the more level headed out of the main cast. For the role of Kya, we felt Nicole Scherzinger could be a great fit. Whilst Nicole is bit young compared to her onscreen brothers, dying her hair grey and add some wrinkles could help age her up. Nicole is best known for being a singer from her time in the Pussycat Dolls as well as a soloist. However she has dabbled in acting a few times and her mixed heritage actually fits well with her onscreen brothers as she too shared Hawaiian and Asian heritage. Though in her case she is part Filipina not Chinese. Her skin tone does fit Kya who is darker skinned than her own brothers.
We've done the children of Aang and Katara. Now we move onto the children of another member of the Gaang. Lets meet the chief of Republic City police Lin Beifong the oldest daughter of Toph Beifong. Lets say growing up without her father in the picture and having an uneasy relationship with her mother Toph was not easy for Lin. Whilst she did end up becoming very up tight and strict especially as an older sister to Suyin, she did apparently have her more relaxed moments when she apparently dated Tenzin in their youth. Their relationship clearly didn't last as we see he is married to Pema and has four kids with her. But Lin Beifong serves as one of Korra's most reliable allies with her metal bending and police gadgets (mostly the metal cables for swinging and snaring). Over the course of the series, she warms up to Korra, reunites and mends bridges with her Sister and Mother, but we can agree she is overall quite the bad ass. Definitely a chip off Toph's block. For the role of Lin Beifong we felt Chinese Hawaiian actress Kelly Hu could fit the role. She an appropriate age as she and Keanu Reeves are both in their 50s, matching Lin to Tenzin's age. She also has experience in martial arts which she routinely demonstrates in several roles like Lady Deathstrike in X-Men and China White in Arrow. She has also done countless voice roles from Mortal Kombat's D'vorah to several Marvel and DC character in the animated shows and films.
Suyin Beifong is the younger half sister of Lin and the daughter of Toph. Much like her Sister and Mother. She had fallen out with them but by the time we are introduced to her she has mended her relationship with her mum. But Su and Lin still had issues to deal with. One of which was Su being involved in petty crime during her youth and accidentally scarring Lin who was the police officer sent to take her and her friends in. Toph was able to cover up the issue to avoid Su getting jailed but this caused a big rift in the Beifong household. Suyin would go on to become a powerful Metalbender eventually teaching Korra how to Metal Bend and is the mother to several children including one of the new airbenders Opal. For the role of Suyin, we felt Maggie Q could fit the role well. She is a Hawaiian actress of Vietnamese, Polish and Irish origins and has had a long career as a model and actress. She trained in martial arts for roles in Manhattan Midnight, Rush Hour 2, Naked Weapon and of course her best known role Nikita. While she is almost 10 years younger than Kelly Hu the two can still reasonably play sisters onscreen even if we account a large age gap being possible for Suyin and Lin.
While Suyin has plenty of children. Specifically 4 sons and a daughter. We can say her daughter Opal was the stand out from the family. Not only was she the only girl, she was initially a non-bender until Harmonic Convergence gave her Airbending. She would be sought out by Team Avatar to recruit her as an Airbender under Tenzins training. Through this meeting she would meet and fall in love with Bolin. Whilst sweet and cute, the couple had trouble with their relationship when Bolin works for her brother Baatar Jr and his lover Kuvira, unwittingly allowing the two to invade the other earth nations. Opal would grow to be a strong member of the Air nation force working alongside Kai, Jinora and others to protect the world with her new found airbending and skills. For the role of Opal, we felt Canadian actress Nicole Huff could fit the role. She is of Filipina, German and French descent and her age of 22 fits with Akira Fujii who is 23 and would be her onscreen love interest.. She is also skilled in dance, acrobatics, gymnastics and karate. All these skills which will definitely fit the more agile skills that Opal demonstrates after her training. Nicole is best known for roles like Yvette in Life with Derek, Gloria Chin in Degrassi, Mei in Best Friends Forever and Renee Joy in Diggstown
Father of Korra, Husband of Senna and the older brother of Unalaq. Tonraq was originally a native of the Northern Water tribe and their chief until his brother Unalaq had him overthrown and banished for upsetting the spirits. Now exiled, Tonraq would start a new life in the Southern Water Tribe and start a new family. As chief of the Southern Water Tribe, he ends up butting heads with his younger brother while at the same time not realising that Unalaq has ulterior motives regarding the Spirit World. Tonraq would remain a staple ally and one of the more reliable and most trustworthy world leaders next to Tenzin. Not surprising as his daughter is the Avatar. For the role of Tonraq, we have Adam Beach. Beach is a Canadian actor of First Nation origin specifically Anishanaabe and some Icelandc Inuit heritage too which perfectly matches Tonraq Northern Water Tribe Heritage. Beach is best known for Slipknot in DC's Suicide Squad film as well as Dani Moonstar's father in X-Men film New Mutants. His other roles include the likes of Tommy Flute in Big Love, Chester Lake in Law and Order, George Keeshig in Moose and will play the titular Hitman in the upcoming Hitman film.
Not much to say for Senna. She is the mother of Korra and loving wife of Tonraq. Like her daughter she is a native of the Southern Water Tribe and also a skilled Water Bender. Though much like Pema, she doesn't get into the action as much. Following a more traditional role of a wife, in fact we never get to see her use her waterbending in the series but hopefully if we do get a live action Legend of Korra maybe they can give us a bit of Senna in action. As Senna is a native of the Southern Water Tribe, it feels like it would make sense for an actress of Oceanic origins to play her. As we have Australian Aboriginal actress Madeleine Madden for Korra. It feels perfect to have Ursula Yovich to play Senna. Yovich is an Australian actress and singer of Serbian and indigenous origins likely Maningrida specifically. She is best known for her role as Daisy in the film Australia, Daffy Ford in Top End Wedding, Eden Freeburn in The Gods of Wheat Street, Kitty Boyd in The Code and Pansy in Mystery Road. It would. a delight to have another Aboriginal actress onscreen for Legend of Korra.
Oh Varrick. how do we summaries this crazy Southern Water tribe entrepreneur. He is egotistical, selfish, eccentric and probably one of the most entertaining characters of Legend of Korra. Whilst he tries to help the Southern Water Tribe against Unalaq with very amoral tactics such as using his Nuktuk Movies as Propaganda and bombing his own factory to garner sympathisers against Unalaq. He only gains distrust from his own allies that he wishes to help. He does improve by the time we get to last series. Trying to redeem himself working as a scientist for Kuvira, he has an epiphany to shut down his project when he suspects it would be too dangerous to continue and only lead to it being a weapon of mass destruction. Varrick certainly does well redeem himself albeit he is still an ass (excuse our French). So we need an actor fo Oceanic origin to play Varrick, so who can portray this eccentric man with his weird ass swag? How about Taika Waititi? New Zealander of Maori origin is best known for more of his directing and writing talent since Thor: Ragnarok. But we can't deny he is also a talented actor. Within Marvel he voices and motion captures Korg the Kiwi accented Rock Alien, he also played Hal Jordan's Inuit friend Thomas Kalmaku in the Green Lantern film, Viago in What We Do In The Shadows, Alamein in Boy and is expected a role in the Suicide Squad sequel.
Oh Zhu Li, The poor assistant of Varrick. Constantly belittled and dismissed by her boss. Makes you wonder why does she put up with him. Well the finale season for Legend of Korra brings us some well needed insight to this brilliant woman. It turns out she was in love in Varrick all along, how or why is beyond us. But she shows much like Varrick she is incredibly intelligent and tries to even act as a double agent against Kuvira, secretly sabotaging the super weapon Varrick refuses to build. It's quite bad ass also when she finally stands up to Varrick's condescending nature and demands he treat her as an equal partner. The two get married and hopefully have a much happier relationship from now on. For the role of Zhu Li, we opted to go for Korean American singer and actress Arden Cho, she is best known for her role as Kira Yukimura in Teen Wolf, Emily in Chicago Med, Honour Liang in The Honour List and Mia Price in Hawaii Five-0.
Legend of Korra's very own Aladdin. Lets see young Brown skin Asian lad? Check. A charming and roguish thief? Check. Greedy Jerk with a heart of Gold? Check. Turns over a new leaf? Check. Falls in love with daughter of a nations leader? Check. Yeah Kai is pretty much the Aladdin of Avatar, but instead of getting a genie. He gets Airbending powers. Whilst at first he pretty much screws over the team for his own petty materialistic desires. His heroic heart is clear when he refuses to hurt other air benders during the Dai Li's training and tries to stand up for himself and the other air benders. His mutual attraction to Jinora also allows her to find and rescue him through her spiritual abilities and the two would go to be a couple. They proved to be strong contenders against the Red Lotus too. For the role of this cheeky juvenile delinquent turned hero, we felt British Asian actor Kaizer Akhtar could pull this off. His first role was actually a voice role in Baby Jake, but he would later go on to appear in the mini series Tut as the younger version of King Tut with Avan Jogia playing the older version. He also appeared in the Doctor Who series as Praiseworthy in the episode "Smile". He is appears to be around 15 years old which would be the right age to match with Siena Agudong's Jinora who is around 16.
General Iroh the grandson of Fire Lord Zuko and the son of Fire Lady Izumi. Iroh was named after his Great Grand-uncle Iroh, who we all know and love. Yet he sound suspiciously similar to his grandfather in his youth. Either way Iroh helps Korra and the gang a few times in the series whenever the Fire Nation military are called in to assist Republic City. Naturally Iroh is a skilled martial artist and fire bender shame the show didn't get to use him as much as it could, but he is generally limited to his orders and whatever the law allows him to do. He generally feels he should trust Korra as she is the reincarnation of Aang, who his grandfather Zuko trusts and respects dearly. If we had to cast an actor for Iroh, our first choice that comes to mind is British martial arts actor Jon Foo. Foo is a best known for his martial arts prowess and acrobatic skills which he demonstrates in his films. Being of half Chinese and Irish origin, he does have a resemblance to Ryan Potter (who we chose as his grandfather Zuko). Jon Foo is known for his roles such as the Wushu fighter in Tom Yum Goong fighting against Thai legend Tony Jaa. He also played Video Game leads as Jin Kazama in Tekken and Ryu in Street Fighter: Legacy. One of his other lead roles is Inspector Lee in the Rush Hour TV show where he embraces his inner Jackie Chan. It would be perfect to have Jon Foo show up for General Iroh.
After the Earth Queen Hou-Ting is de-throned to say the least (ahem). The next in line is Prince Wu a distant relative who is utterly vain, narcissistic, pompous and honestly he is clearly not been to the real world much considering. He does seem to want to be better person and it's through his interactions with Mako (who is acting as his bodyguard), he does actually mature and learn how to be a better Prince. Whilst he does have admirable qualities such as helping with evacuating the citizens, trying and pathetically failing to learn self defence and his singing voice is at least able to sway Badger moles to his side. For the role of this not so charming Prince, we felt Karan Brar can embody the role. Many of his previous roles are Chirag Gupta in Dairy of a Wimpy Kid, Ravi Ross in Jessie and Bunk'd, Cadet Suresh in Pacific Rim: Uprising and Prince Veer in Mira, Royal Detective. While a lot of his better known roles box him in with a stereotypical freshy accent. As Prince Wu he can lay on the charm with his own American accent instead.
Noatak aka Amon. The leader of the Equalists. The first main villain of legend of Korra. He somewhat represents a few things Communism, Fascism, Meiji restoration, his blaming of the Benders being the cause of all conflict has shades of extreme atheists who make the same claim over religion and then his claim his mission against all benders is from the spirits ironically is similar to fundamental evangelicals. Giving Avatar fans more depth with their villains ideaologies. Noatak grew up learning the illegal art of Bloodbending from his Father Yakone, sometimes even forced to compete against or torture his own little brother Tarrlok. But after Noatak has enough, he runs away but fails to convince Tarrlok to join him. Over the years Noatak rechristens himself as Amon with the agenda to remove all bending (despite being a bender himself). In fact through a mix of chi-blocking and blood bending he is the only person beside the Avatar that can remove a benders abilities. We would love to see Chaske Spencer wear the mask and hood of Noatak. He is an American actor with Sioux, Nez Perce, Cherokee, Creek, French, and Dutch heritage. He is best known for playing Alpha Male werewolf Sam Uley in the Twilight franchise, his more recent roles included Jace Montero in Marvel Netflix's Jessica Jones, Sachem in Barkskins and Dominic Masters in Blindspot.
OK so there's not a lot to say about the Lieutenant. He is Amon right hand man and the second in command of the equalists. He is skilled in using stun rods, stun gauntlets and chi blocking to stop benders but was completely unaware his leader Amon was a blood bender. Upon discovering Amon using his blood bending to get the upper hand over Korra and Mako. He jumps in declaring Amon a hypocrite and tries to defeat him. Key word here "tries." Yeah while his narrow mindedness saves Korra and Mako some extra time, he is killed by his boss who regrettably admits that the Lieutenant served him well. We can see Andrew Cao, take the role of this Lieutenant. If don't know why, well Andrew's role as Security Chief Liu in Marvel's Ironfist has him portray the second in command to one of the triads and he even tries to defeat Davos alone and fails. Liu's use of Axes is very similar to that of the Lieutenants rods.
Hiroshi Sato, father of Asami Sato and owner of their family business. A wealthy man but also a grieving man. Sato lost his wife due to being attacked by benders and free up secretly hating them. As a result he teams up with the Equalists to help them in their "Mission" to purge the world of all Benders. This did not go down well when his daughter Asami found out and opposed him. Sato is later seen again in the final series where Asami reaches out to him at his prison to build bridges, but it all comes full circle when Hiroshi is enlisted alongside Varrick to help with defeating Kuvira and his giant mech. Hiroshi loses his life cutting through the armour which allowed the team to get in and defeat Kuvira from the inside. For the role of Hiroshi Sato, Hiroyuki Sana'a comes to mind, many of you may recognise him as Uijo form Last Samurai, Shingen Yashida in the X-Men film The Wolverine, he had a brief role as Akihiko in Marvel's Avengers Endgame, he was the main villain Kenji in Rush Hour 3 and we look forward to seeing him in the upcoming Mortal Kombat film as Hanzo Hasashi/Scorpion. While Hiroshi Sato is not as active compared to these previous roles, it does give Sana'a a more relaxed antagonist role to play with a redeemable end to his story.
Tarrlok. Yakone's second son and the younger brother of Noatak. He also grew up learning Bloodbending from Yakone. Forced to compete with his brother and use it against him, eventually Noatak snapped and lash out at Yakone before running away. Tarrlok refused to go with his older brother causing a rift between the two. The two would eventually meet again when Noatak as Amon would confront his brother and much to Tarrlok's surprise (Not knowing Amon's true identity a the time) he was immune to Tarrlok's blood bending. Tarrlok's role as a councilman for republic city seemed to make him a trustworthy ally to Korra and Tenzin at first but his aggressive stance on dealing with the Equalist only made relations worse between benders and non-benders. Tarrlok's rise to power and use of fear mongering and corruption has elements that reminded audience of Hitler and Mussolini. For the role of Tarrlok, we'd like to see Tatanka Means play the character. Tatanka is of Ogala, Omaha and Dine ethnic origins which is suitable for a Northern Water Tribe member. Tatanka Means also has some experience as a Boxer too which can help for some of the rare moments Tarrlok fights without blood bending as he initially hid this illegal ability for good reason too. His best known roles would be Nabby Drinkwater in I Know This Much Is True, Wolf in Tiger Eyes, Hobbamock in Saints and Strangers and will appear as Ogichidaa in the upcoming horror thriller film The Windigo.
Unalaq another water bending villain with a huge parallel to Fire Lord Ozai from the parent series. Unalaq and Ozai are both the second born son of royalty, they use their older brother's failure as an excuse to overthrow their position and rule their respective nations, they use their son and daughter as minions against the avatar and completely disregards their children's mental/social health and well being. Unalaq and Ozai even get a super power boost and have a legendary show down against the Avatar. The biggest difference is Unalaq is Korra's Uncle and he fuses with Vatu to become the evil Avatar to rival Rava and Korra. With this in mind we felt David Midthunder would be a decent choice. He is Native American of Latoka origin and would also fit well as Adam Beach's on screen brother. He is probably best known for his role as David Ridges in Longmire, Takoda in Westworld and was the face model used for Nightwolf in the video game Mortal Kombat 11.
Desna is the son of Unalaq and twin brother of Eska. Somehow looking identical enough despite the two being brother and sister. He and his equally creepy sister are hardly seen apart but they proved to be dangerous adversaries to their cousin Korra. After realising their father is insane and power mad. They turn against him and allow the heroes to stop him. Despite their cousin killing their father, they spare no ill will towards her apart from a snarky comment on not knowing what to tell their mum, regarding their father's death. For the role of Desna, we felt Booboo Stewart would be the right choice for the role, he is of Blackfoot, Russian and Scottish origin from his dad and Japanese, Korean, Chinese from his mum. He is also an accomplished martial artist which would be fitting for Desna's action scenes. Booboo Stewart is best known for his role as Native American werewolf Seth in the Twilight series, Native American Mutant Warpath in the X-Men film Days of Future Past, Takeda Takahashi in Mortal Kombat X: Generations, Jay in the Descendants franchise and Vic Lakota in Paradise City. With a resume like this he would be great fit for Northern Water tribe warrior and he does have youthful pretty boy features and long hair which is closest we may get to a feminine/androgynous Native American actor in his 20s that is still a certified bad ass.
Moving on to Eska the Daughter of Unalaq and Sister of Desna. She comes across as creepy and stone faced much like her brother, but shows a more character due to her controversial abusive relationship with Bolin. You see Bolin asks her out and she immediately claims him as her boyfriend in a terrifying and possessive way to a point where she won't allow Bolin to even hug Asami or Korra and physical threaten the poor guy. She also doesn't take him dumping her well and blames her own cousin Korra for it. She is pretty freakin terrifying. Luckily she mellows out and allows her and Bolin to go their separate ways after the death of her father Unalaq. She and Desna become the co leaders of the Northern Water tribe and even team up with Fire Lord Zuko and their uncle Tonraq to prevent the Red Lotus from freeing P'li (albeit they fail). Since we have Daivd Midthunder as Unalaq, we felt his real life daughter and actress Amber Midthunder can play Eska. She is slightly younger than Booboo Stewart and like Stewart she known for playing a Native American mutant martial artist in an X-Men project. Though in her case she plays an original character Kerry Loudermilk. At first Amber did struggle with the martial arts side, she does improve in the later series and due to Kerry having Savant qualities in the show, we can imagine Amber fitting the role of Eska and her unusually personality well. Her upcoming role is Tanto in Ice Road and currently plays Rosa Ortecho in Roswell, New Mexico.
Send her victorious. Happy and glorious. long may she reign over us. Lord save the Queen. Actually bun that screw the monarchy. That is what you'd say if you met Queen Hou-Ting. A pompous, superficial, cranky royal monarch who abuses to her subjects, is unfairly demanding and straight up bizarre. She even ate King Kuei's pet bear!!! despite Kuei being her father, oh and she is allergic to animal fur too. So yeah she's not someone you'd bring your pets anywhere near. She also has her Dai Li agents kidnap Airbenders to force them to be indoctrinated into her secret military which would not go well for her when Kai is one of the Airbender the Dai-Li kidnaps and Jinora has to find him. Lets say no one sheds a tear for this Queen where Zaheer decides to have her abdicate the throne (whilst a bit of oxygen deprivation and death). For the role of this character, We would love to see Korean Canadian actress Sandra Oh take the role of Queen Hou-Ting. She is the right age and has appeared in many tv show as of late such as her role as Abbie Tanaka in American Crime, she does voice acting for She-Ra and The Princesses of Power as Castaspella, she was the titular character Eve Polastri in the British thriller/drama Killing Eve and will be appearing as Debbie Grayson in the upcoming show animated super hero show Invincible.
Here is Ganbat, an earth bender who poaches Sky Bison Pelts and seem exotic animal meats to the Earth Queen Hou-Ting. Not exactly an upstanding characte and we all no hunters and poachers can be quite despicable. Considering that Wet Markets and exotic meats can lead to a new viruses and diseases developing, if Zaheer didn't off the Earth Queen, something she ate could have. For the role of Ganbat, we felt Saudi Arabian actor Rawkan Binbella would fit the role. His Asian heritage gives him the right skin tone, his braided dreadlocks fits Ganbat's unique hair style and he stands at an imposing 6'1". Rawkan is best known for his roles as Turki in the Saudi mixed martial art film Jaber and Emir Abdul -Aziz Bin Al Saud in Born a King, he could easily make a one episode appearance for this role. In Born a King works with many British actors like Ed Skrein (Ajax/Francis in the Deadpool film) and the film was mostly shot in the UK. So Rawkan is open to do work and act in other countries outside of the Arab world. We reckon he should definitely consider this. He is also our choice for Naveed Hashim aka Arabian Knight III if Marvel ever want to introduce the character to the MCU.
Season 3 introduces us the anarchists known as the Red Lotus. They are lead by a non-bending Martial Artist named Zaheer. While he along with his allies are all imprisoned by the time of their introduction. Zaheer happens to gain air bending from Harmonic Convergence (conveniently he also happens to be very knowledgable in Airbending Nomadic and Spiritual cultures). His extreme interpretation of Guru Laghima's philosophy and teachings seem to play parallels with religious extremism. Throw in his name which is Arabic for apparent meaning or outward meaning and you kinda get what particular culture he is based off. Taking this into account we felt British Iraqi actor and martial artist Amed Hashimi would be the right fit. He's mostly had minor action acting roles with other martial arts actors like appearing as an Arsenal fighter in Green Street 3 (with the likes of Scott Adkins and Spencer Wilding), Sied in the short film Predator: Dark Age, Agent Amari in Street Fighter: Resurrection (with Mike Moh and Christian Howard), a prisoner in Aladdin (with Joey Ansah and Marwan Kenzari) and one of his latest Judah in Jesus: His Life. He also played Nabeel Aziz in the short film Bound with Christian Howard's character interrogating him. His martial arts background, Iraqi heritage and height of 5'6" would make him a perfect fit for the pintsized powerhouse and would be excited to see Amed Hashimi in this role.
The second member of the red lotus we are introduced to is Ghazan. A powerful earth bender and this first we meet that can Lava bend. He appears to be one of the more cordial and down to earth members of the Red Lotus, though Bolin speculates he and Ming-Hua have "a thing" for each other. Ghazan's name is also arabic influenced meaning Holy Warrior. It is also a famous name for a Mughal Emperor. His tall, dark and tattooed appearance in his prison workout scene certainly contrasts with his conservative choice of dress. But to play this character on screen, we would like to see British Bangladeshi actor Jan Uddin bring this character to life. He's had many roles in both British and American projects like Narcissistic gangster Sweetboy in Shank, Jalil Iqbal in Eastenders, Arab soldier Ibn Idriss in Black Gold, British Pakistani gangster KD in Lies We Tell, Chromicon Isaiah in Marvel's Agents of Shield and is believed to be Asimov in the upcoming adaptation of the anime Cowboy Bebop. Considering his 6'1" slim muscular build and long hair he would fit the role perfectly and has had to trade fists in some of his previous roles. His Bangladeshi heritage is also appropriate due to Ghazan's name origin.
Third member of the red lotus is the crazed petite armless but not harmless waterbender Ming-Hua. Despite having no arms Ming-Hua is capable of still water bending just by moving her body. In fact she is able to use her water bending without limbs is her special ability. She uses her water bending to make water limbs, using her limbs to make tentacles, ice blades and all kinds of water constructed weapons. Hell she can even drive with them. While we don't know whether she is from the northern or souther or even swamp tribe. We decided that if she a water bender from earth nation cities, we felt someone of South East Asian origin can fit the role. We have American martial arts actress Tara Macken for the role. She is half Filipina and has been doing stunt work for films like Birds of Prey, Mortal Kombat, Batman and also some minor acting roles in agents of shield, fast & furious 7, super girl and having several roles in Hawaii Five-0. We feel she would be a brilliant fit for MIng-Hua even though her focus tnds to be more on action then acting.
The last member of the red lotus that get broken out of prison is P'Li a fire bender with combustion abilities. Much like Combustion man before her she is incredibly tall. In fact she is the tallest of the four main red lotus members apparently standing at well over 6' tall and she towers over her own boyfriend Zaheer. So it is must we get a tall actress to play her to fit that height difference. From this we found a 6' tall Hawaiian actress Kalena Ranoa. She is probably best known for playing a baskerballer Svetlana in the comedy series Rules of Engagement where she has a romantic relationship with Timir. Many of her acting roles have been minor but being a tall actress of possibly Hawaiian or Hapa origins probably hasn't been easy for her to land main or recurring roles in acting. But she will be a great as P'Li. Whilst she is not taller than Jan Uddin only shorter by an inch, she can wear high heels or platform shoes to tower over him too just like how P'Li is slightly taller than Ghazan.
Aiwei the Reed Lotus' mole in the kingdom of Zoufou. Originally seen as a trusted advisor to Suyin, Aiwei is one of the only known characters beside the Beifong family members to be able to use the Seismic Sense. In his case it makes him the perfect lie detector much like Toph though he does not seem to be much of a fighter but he is able to access the spirit realm. He is also one of the rare examples of an LGBT character in the series as the creators had confirmed he in fact has an unseen husband. He is however banished to the fog of lost lost by Zaheer when he declare Aiwei to be a loose end that needed to removing. For the role of Aiwei we felt British Guyanese-German actor Gordon Waenecke could fulfil the role. He is a veteran British actor who fits the age, build and ethnic appearance of Aiwei due to his Asian-Guyanese heritage on his mums side. He has had many roles from his first being Omar in My Beautiful Laundrette one of the first example of an LGBT British Asian character which will fit Aiwei if the show portrays him openly LGBT this time around . Hand Kurtha in Boon, Tuza in the classic Doctor Who series episodes Trail of a Time Lord part 7 and 8, He was also a minor British Bangladeshi character Jabber Ahmed in Eastenders. His more recent roles include Dil Palmer in Brookside, Papaji in Venus and Danish's Dad in London Unplugged.
Kuvira the season finale villain from Legend of Korra. She is seen before season 4 as a Zaofu soldier in season 3. She was one of the soldiers who helped rescue Korra from the Red Lotus' lair. However after the time skip between Season 3 and 4. Kuvira appears to have the ambition to invade and forcibly reunite all the Earth kingdom nation under a new empire for her and her fiancee Baatar Jr to rule. While she is a dangerous martial artist and power metal bender too. She relies on fear, intimidation and superior weaponry to get what she wants. By the end of the series she has become ruthless charging into the Republic City with a giant mech and laser cannon causing untold destruction and even goes as far enough to attempt killing her own fiancée when he gets capture by team Avatar. For the role of a such a ruthless young militant leader. We felt British Chinese actress Jessica Henwick would be a great choice for the role. While not initially interested in martial arts, one of Jessica's first acting role in the UK was Bo in Spirit Warriors (making her one of the first British East Asians leads in a TV Show). For the role she had to learn Wushu, skills she would use again in Marvel's Netflix series Defenders and Ironfist as Coleen Wing. She is slated to appear in a role for upcoming movies like Godzilla vs King Kong and in the Matrix 4 film. We can imagine her martial arts training coming in handy their too. Whilst she is usually seen in heroic roles, it would be interesting to see how Jessica may tackle the role of a militant villain like Kuvira.
The secondary antagonist of Season 4 is Baatar Jr, son of Baatar Sr and Suyin. Unlike his siblings, he is not a bender and quite tragically hates being overshadowed by his parents and siblings. As a result between the time skip in between season 3 and 4. He is now on bad terms with his family, even arresting and imprisoning them for opposing him and his fiancee. He serves as the brains behind Kuvira's brawn. Not to say Kuvira doesn't lack intelligence but she is strategist, he is more of an inventor. To play the role of Baatar Jr, we can see Malaysian Australian actor Jordan Rodrigues could pull it off. He is around the same age as Jessica Henwick and his role as Thai Australian Jai Fernandez who much like Baatar Jr is geeky but at times can be ruthless and angry in response to being bullied at school. Since then Jordan has appeared in American projects such as Dylan aka Shark Bait in Faking It, Miguel McPherson in Lady Bird, Arlo in L.A's Finest and finally was the voice of Lui Kang in the Mortal Kombat Animated Film called Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge.
Yakone the first known Bloodbender who didn't need a full moon to use such a deadly technique. Even more so he could do it without the use of his hands and too an entire courtroom. It's no wonder Avatar Aang had to go into the avatar state and remove his bending to stop him. (Though it begs the question if a previous Avatar had encountered a blood bender before Aang met Hama). Either way Yakone is more of a flashback character being the one to teach Tarrlok and Noatak Blood bending indirectly lead his sons to become the very villains he'd want them too be. For the role of Yakone we felt Mo Bring Plenty (yes that's his name, don't ask) could be a potential choice for the role. Being a Native American of Oglala Latoka ethnicity, he has appeared in recurring TV roles like Sitting Bull in The American West, Rainwaters Driver/Mo Bring Plenty (again don't ask), in Yellowstone and Ottawa Jones in The Good Lord Bird. Due to Yakone undergoing plastic surgery to hide his identity in his later life, Mo Bring Plenty may need some of that "Colin Firth as Penguin" level of prosthetics and make-up to replicate the visage change.
The Number Wan... ok maybe never do that joke ever again. Avatar Wan is the first ever Avatar. He came from a time where the human and spirit world were one and the same. Originally a poor teenager living in the streets, he came from the Lion Turtle City of Fire where the inhabitants were temporarily granted fire by the Lion Turtle for their hunt. Unfortunately Wan was banished for trying to over throw the Chou family, but was allowed to keep his fire power. He eventually would go on to merge with Rava the embodiment of all Good to combat and trap Vatu the embodiment of all Evil (to simplify the whole situation). Through ,edging with Rava and eventually gaining the other elements from remaining Lion Turlte Wan created the Avatar cycle of reincarnation. For the role of this, we felt Japanese American actor Mackenyu could bring this character to life. While he has mostly only worked in Japanese projects he has done a few American projects like Pacific Rim: Uprising as Cadet Ryoichi and will appear in ZAPS INC. Since Wan is only seen in one episode recounting the origins of the Avatar. Mackenyua can easily show up if he is willing to do a brief role in a non-Japanese project.
Finally we felt we could at least cover this minor character. Tahno. The Water Bender of the Wolf Bats pro-bending team. Many would remember this dandy narcissist for his attempts to charm Korra (only to get scared off by Naga) and also cheat during the ProBending tournament against Korra, Mako and Bolin. As a result, Amon decides to remove his bending. While Korra apparently restores his bending off screen after the season 1 finale, he only seen in the season 4 finale playing the trumpet at Varrick and Zhu Li's wedding. For the role this Water Bender we felt his voice actor Rami Malek could return to portray him in Live Action. Malek has the blue eyes, dark hair, pale olive skin to easily play the character and even can match the flamboyant style as seen when Rami Malek played Farroukh Bulsara/Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. He also played Ben an Egyptian Vampire in Twilight who had the unique powers to control the elements... hmm sounds firmiliar. Unlike the other Water Benders, who mostly appear to be based off Native Americas and Oceanic cultures. Tahno looks more similar to pale skinned members of the fire and earth nations, indicating he has mixed heritage. Rami Malek is of Greek and Egyptian origins which may feel out of place as everyone in the Avatar franchise is of Pan-Asian or Indigenous origins (P.S we are aware that Egypt is both a West Asian and North African nation), Rami Malek could easily fit in as one of the rare West Asian/South Asian inspired characters like Ghazan, Zaheer, Bumi and Pathik just to name a few. Especially since Asian actresses like Indians actresses Vaishnavi Sharma, Anjali Jay and Meneka Das all played his mum in Mr.Robot, Night At Museum and Bohemian Rhapsody respectively and Anglo Indian actor Ben Kingsley and Pakistani actor Ace Bhatti had both played is dad in Night At museum and Bohemian Rhapsody. Also a little bonus trivia Tahno's name is based off the Tano river in Ghana, whilst North African Egypt is a bit far from from the West African Ghana, Tahno is the only character here to have an African influence to his design.
What do you think of this fan cast? Does it live up to our previous Avatar: The Last Airbender Fan Cast? Tweet us @thecsnetwork to let us know