I’m kind of The Avatar/The Legend of Korra guy round these parts. And being such a huge fan of the whole Avatar universe, I think about it frequently. Maybe too frequently. Actually, no, you can never think about Avatar too frequently. And that’s why even though we’ll probably never in a million years get a live-action The Legend of Korra movie, you can’t keep me from dreamcasting a hypothetical movie version! You just can’t!
Now, first things first. There will be no whitewashing in my hypothetical The Legend of Korra movie. So, even if you don’t like my picks, you’ll likely at least still be okay that we’re not going to run into one of the main issues of the Avatar: The Last Airbender movie. Secondly, I’m going to focus on Book 1 of The Legend of Korra cartoon, so my villain will be Amon. And lastly, I know I’m not going to get a sequel, so I’m going to make Korrasami a thing in this movie. And I don’t care if you think their relationship needs more than one film to evolve. It’s my movie, and I want Korrasami, dammit! Now, on with the dreamcasting!
Korra (Chloe Bennet)
Korra is brash, yet vulnerable. A leader, and yet desperately in need of friendship. And, oh, she’s also the avatar, and you gotta deal with it. A lot of people don’t like Korra for a variety of reasons, but at her heart, she’s a barrel full of emotions and is just trying to figure out her place in the world. You know, like most people. She also goes through some traumatic experiences, and comes out a changed person in the end. So, I definitely want somebody who can both kick ass and show emotional change throughout her journey.
Enter Chloe Bennet, probably best known as Daisy Johnson (or Quake) from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (though, she also voiced Yi in the animated movie Abominable). Bennet has proven that she can look like she can handle herself in a fight, but also like she can handle emotional depth, like during the Secret Warriors story-arc where she ended up leaving S.H.I.E.L.D. Plus, she’s already played an Inhuman. So, why not a bender?
Bolin (Ki Hong Lee)
Bolin is the comic relief of the show (Well, him and Verrick). The earthbending brother to Mako who would later become the movie star, Nuktuk, can also be serious when he has to be. But the one thing to always remember about Bolin is that he cares. And he’s also a loyal friend to the end. He may not be Sokka, but does he really have to be? No. The answer is no, he doesn’t. And he’s all the better for it.
I actually think Ki Hong Lee would be the perfect Bolin. He’s shown he can handle himself in an action movie, like he did with his role as Minho in The Maze Runner, but also that he could handle comedy, like he did in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as Dong Nguyen. And hell, he’s even voiced The Totally Awesome Hulk in the animated Spider-Man series. Give this man the role already! Jeez!
Mako (Harry Shum Jr.)
Whereas Bolin is the silly brother—the Michelangelo of Team Avatar, if you will—Mako is the more serious, disciplined brother. Not quite the Raphael, but also not quite the Leonardo, either (and I have no idea why I’ve started referencing the Ninja Turtles when describing Mako. Please just follow me here). Mako would probably be a loner if not for having to take care of his brother. He eventually becomes a police officer and is one of Korra’s most loyal allies. But he’s also a love interest to Korra early on before she falls in love with Asami.
I’d pick Harry Shum Jr. to be my Mako. He’s probably most recognizable as Mike Chang from Glee, but I’m thinking of him more from his roles in the Step Up series, Shadowhunters, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny. Mako is the kind of character who has a lot to say, but remains quiet and mostly talks through action. And Harry Shum Jr. definitely has the moves to portray a firebender. But I also think he has the acting chops to play Mako as well, as seen in his role as the warlock Magnus Bane in Shadowhunters. You know what? I really shouldn’t be writing this article, because I now want this movie more than ever! Harry Shum Jr. would be perfect as Mako! Absolutely perfect.
Asami (Lana Condor)
Okay, so maybe Asami is the Sokka of The Legend of Korra? I only say that since she’s the only nonbender in this version of Team Avatar. She’s not really funny, but she’s earnest and even goes against her father when she sees his disdain for benders. She is also Korra’s one and only toward the end of the series. But Asami is a threat in her own right, too, as she is both a businesswoman as well as somebody who is willing to throw down to protect her friends. We’re going to need somebody with a lot of range to play Asami… Hmm…
I got it! Lana Condor. She played a minimal role in X-Men: Apocalypse as Jubilee, so I know she’s down for action pictures, but she also played the complex Lara Jean in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I think she could navigate the role of somebody who feels a need to uphold family honor, but also one who believes in following her heart, and Lana Condor could pull that role off to a T. I especially think she’d be a great love interest for Korra. Phew, okay. And now, for my hardest pick of all. The villain.
Amon (Vincent Rodriguez III)
Leader of the anti-bender group known as the Equalists, Amon likes to pretend that he’s a nonbender when in actuality, he’s a waterbender who specializes in bloodbending! When he bloodbends, he can actually take away a person’s bending ability, leaving them feeling worthless and broken. Amon is one of Korra’s fiercest foes in the entire series, so we need somebody who can be super convincing and scary in the role.
Okay, so hear me out with this one. You remember when everybody heard that Heath Ledger would be playing the Joker, and then people were like, him? You mean from 10 Things I Hate About You? No way! But then, when they actually saw the role, they shut up instantly? Well, I think the same thing would happen with Vincent Rodriguez III, whose main role was on the cult hit TV series, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Yes, the show is a comedy, but Vincent Rodriguez III showed that he could actually be quite intimidating in the role as Josh Chan, but also somebody who could be sympathetic. In that way, I pick Vincent Rodriguez III as my antagonist for my hypothetical, never-going-to-happen (Dammit) The Legend of Korra movie!
But what do you think? Did I get a home run with all five of my picks, or did I strike out completely? And of course I didn’t forget about Tenzin or Lin Beifong. But why get excited over something that will never happen? Even so, I’d love to hear your picks. So, let me know who you’d cast in the comments section down below!
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.