Singapore’s Lim Kay Siu to star in ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ live-action remake

Lim Kay Siu in a May photo and a poster of the original animated series ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender.’ Images: Lim Kay Siu/Instagram, Nickelodeon
Lim Kay Siu in a May photo and a poster of the original animated series ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender.’ Images: Lim Kay Siu/Instagram, Nickelodeon

A Netflix remake of a coveted American animated series will feature a Singaporean stage thespian in a key role.

Netflix yesterday revealed that Lim Kay Siu, 61, will play Gyatso, an Air Nomad monk and mentor to main protagonist Aang, in the much-talked about live-action remake of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Fortunately, it’s packed with Asian talents. The cast list was also revealed to include Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, most notably from TV series Kim’s Convenience and The Mandalorian, as Uncle Iroh, a retired Fire Nation general and uncle to Prince Zuko. Ken Leung of Star Wars: The Force Awakens fame will play Commander Zhao, a cunning Fire Nation military officer. 

Lim has starred in other American productions including 1999’s Anna and The King and 1995’s Nightwatch.

Although no release date has been announced, Netflix said production is underway at a new 23,000-square foot stage operated by Academy and Emmy award-winning visual effects studio Pixomondo. It will employ the same technologies used in shows like Disney’s The Mandalorian and Netflix’s The Midnight Sky.

Back in August, Netflix revealed the main leads to be Gordon Cormier as Aang, Kiawentiio Tarbell as Katara, Ian Ousley as Sokka, Dallas Liu as Prince Zuko, and Daniel Dae Kim as Fire Lord Ozai.

The original cartoon series follows a young boy on a quest to bring peace to the world that is divided into four nations according to the classical elements: water, earth, fire, and air.  

This is the second live-action remake of the series. The first came by way of Indian-American filmmaking trainwreck M. Night Shyamalan’s 2010 The Last Airbender. It flopped hard and is widely considered one of the worst films ever made due to fan criticism ranging from its departure from the original’s story and poor production values.

Avatar: The Last Airbender ran for three seasons with 61 episodes from 2005 to 2008, and its sequel, The Legend of Korra, ended a three-year run in 2014.

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