I recast everyone OLDER, (because it's very difficult for me to go searching for child stars, in an ideal world it would all have been auditions etc, but since this is just fancy.... I don't know any native american actors, so if you have suggestions in that department, feel free to comment.)
Forgive the Photoshopping, it's extremely rushed.
here's a video audition from another kid who knows kung fu but was turned down.
Her'es the casting of someone else, with better mix in the native american spectra. I don't agree with Taylor Lautner as Sokka tho, but oh well.naru_naoe
and I talked about this, and though the photoshopping sucks at the moment (I have things I musts do), we already also have the minor characters plotted out.
Zhanwei Wang as Aang. Zhangwei Wang was first seen as the bully in Karate Kid (2010), he knows kung fu, and he can act. Of course Aang is a happy-go-lucky kid compared to his role in Karate Kid, but at least we know that he can act.
Miao Xie (or Miu Tse depending on your romanization) for Zuko. Miao Xie is actually best known for being Jet Li's on screen son in "My Father is a Hero"/"Jet Li's Enforcer" (a personal favorite of mine) and "The New Legend of Shaolin". I know a lot of fans want Dante Basco here, but, though Dante Basco is Zuko's voice, I think it would be better to cast at least the main characters as Chinese as Zuuko is mainly a Chinese influenced character.
Jet Li as Ozai. I've wanted to see Miu Tse as Jet Li's onscreen son again.
Jacki Chan as Iroh. Comedy and action in Iroh. Jacki Chan was the first person who came to my mind.
Zhang ZiYi as Azula. Zhang Ziyi could do a pretty mean crazy when she wants to. And her fight scenes in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as well as House of Flying Daggers was a must see. Zhang Ziyi doesn't actually know kung fu but rather uses dancing moves in her fighting, a little bit hard if she's cast in Azula's role for the military hard style but could be improvised.
Chow Yun Fat as Roku. Seen him in Confucious? Although if Mr. Miyagi or Mr. Mako was still around they'd be better.
Now... well here we have some non-Chinese cast in the roles, because outside of the Fire Kingdom, I think it was more vague. For example, I always thought the water tribe looked darker and a bit more Native American soo....
Summer Glau for Katara. Katara's moves are all very fluid and not a lot of her bending is about kung fu. Summer Glau has shown in "Serenity" that she could pretend to fight using her ballerina skills. Also she fits in the water tribe, she looks like she has ambigious ancestry too.
Dante Basco as Haru. Again, although a lot of people would like to cast him as Zuko, I think he should give the chance to others and play a more minor role. Plus he looks more of a Haru than a Zuko. His dancing would make the bending fine.
Dev Patel as Jet. Although Dev Patel was cast as Zuko, he doesn't fit into Zuko's looks. I think he'd do more of a Jet. Nuff said.
Conchita Campbell as Toph. I really really wanted to give this to Dakota Fanning. Seriously, it's hard to find child actors to fit this tally sheet. And it's difficult to find someone who could play blind. But then I remembered 4400 and Conchita Campbell. She could do serious and blind well.
More Minor Cast:
Dichen Lachnan as Mai. She's half-Tibetan and half-Australian. I know her best from the series "Dollhouse" where she mostly played a Korean/Asian roles for Sierra.
Amuro Namie as Ty Li. naru_naoe
wanted a dancer for Ty Li and immidiately thought of Japanese singer/dancer Amuro Namie.
Gina Hiraizumi as Suki. We had to search for new upcoming Asian faces for her. We really couldn't think of anyone. To be honest, we only chose her because other people thought she was someone to watch out for.
Maggi Q as Kiyoshi. Same reasons as Hiraizumi. (see Suki)
Morena Baccarin as Yue. We wanted Brazilian actress Morena Baccarin from "Firefly" to come join the mix. Completely minor, but when we remembered how beautiful she looked in firefly as Inara, we remember how beautiful Yue as a moon goddess is.