Zack Snyder’s Justice League features Ryan Choi, played by Zheng Kai, better known as the DC Universe superhero The Atom. This is his story.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League featured Ryan Choi, whose future in the DC Universe may lead him to become a superhero just like in the comics. One of the characters to make their film debut is Zheng Kai’s Ryan Choi, who is established as a supporting actor in Snyder Cut. While Kai filmed all of his scenes in 2016, Ryan was one of many characters and stories that were removed from the 2017 theatrical film. But with the director’s original plans for his film being restored League of Justice movie, Ryan finally got his story told.
This actually marks Ryan’s second live performance after Osric Chau portrayed him in the Arrowverse crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths. Technically, Kai’s version would have been the first off-screen iteration if Zack Snyder’s original vision for League of Justice was released in 2017. But since Warner Bros. meddled with Snyder’s initial idea and forced Joss Whedon to make deep cuts, all the scenes with Ryan Choi, unfortunately, never made it to the final cut. HBO Max’s 4-hour director’s cut, however, explores Ryan as a member of STAR Labs, but with a massive tease that awaits more in his future.
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While Zack Snyder’s Justice League becomes a great platform for Ryan’s debut, the character is still very new to the general public. Over the years, the character has gotten bigger in the comics and has appeared in other DC properties, including the Arrowverse. So who is Ryan Choi in the DC Universe and what awaits him next? Zack Snyder’s Justice League?
The origins of the Ryan Choi atom in DC Comics
Created by Gail Simone in August 2006, Ryan became another hero to wear the mantle of The Atom, a title that has been used by many in DC Comics. When Ryan first appears in the comics, he was a protégé of Ray Palmer, who is most associated as The Atom in the books. The two had a letter-writing relationship when Ryan was still living in Hong Kong until he moved to Ivy Town in the United States. Ray became his mentor, but also the one who led Ryan on the heroic path after the latter one day discovered the biological belt that allows The Atom to change in size.
However, Ryan was murdered after Deathstroke murdered him in 2010. Brighter day comic event. Throughout The New 52’s “Convergence” story, it was revealed that Ryan’s conscience had survived. Thankfully, because it’s a comic book universe, the dead don’t always stay dead, as Ryan was successfully revived for DC Rebirth, this time reinvented as a teenage superhero. With his Atom suit and bio belt, he can shrink or enlarge just like Ray. Ryan’s history in DC also involves him having been a member of both the Teen Titans and the Justice League of America.
Zheng Kai plays Ryan Choi in Zack Snyder’s Justice League
While Ryan is one of the most beloved teenage heroes in DC Comics right now, Zack Snyder’s Justice League focuses on him as an adult. Kai’s Dr. Choi worked with Silas Stone, Cyborg’s father, who was the director of STAR Labs. Although Ryan’s role is supportive, he is the one who introduces the electron laser which Silas then uses to make the third Mother Box is overheating. After Silas makes the sacrifice to help the Justice League, Ryan is named the new director of STAR Labs. But it is during its final scene that the Snyder Cut begins to allude to its great destiny.
When Ryan became the new head of STAR Labs, he was known as “Ryan Choi, Director of Nanotechnology”, making it a clever Easter egg for your Atom character. Although the biological belt is never seen, Zack Snyder’s Justice League It states that this version of Ryan is at least working within that realm of making something (or someone) change its size. It is unclear whether or not it means that he has a similar relationship with Ray as in the comics. In this iteration, Ryan could be the one to develop nanotechnology.
Ryan Choi’s role in Zack Snyder’s Justice League and his future shaping
Zack Snyder’s Justice League brings Ryan into the franchise to help continue developing the larger universe the director started in 2013 with Iron Man. Despite being in it as a supporting role, the way the Snyder Cut ends Ryan’s omen implies that they would definitely do more with him. Snyder has even recently confirmed that Ryan would have had a much bigger role after his League of Justice appearance. The director had proposed to Warner Bros. the idea of making a The atom film with the character of Kai that would have taken place in China with a Chinese cast.
Given that he was removed from the theatrical cut, it is unlikely that Ryan’s future will continue at least in the main DCEU. However, should HBO Max become a platform that continues the so-called Snyderverse, hopefully Ryan can continue to be explored as a character. But most importantly, if it would be for Zack Snyder’s Justice League 2, Zack Snyder’s Justice League 3, or The atomKai’s character was obviously going to continue in some way beyond his role as the Snyder Cut. Given how few Asian-American superheroes are in live action today, Ryan’s becoming Atom would help bring more diversity to the comic book genre.
Currently, there are no active plans for Zack Snyder’s Justice League 2 or beyond happening after the Snyder Cut. Because Warner Bros. doesn’t want to continue this specific iteration of the DC brand, Ryan’s Snyder Cut debut may also be his last time, at least for now. But depending on how big the success is for Zack Snyder’s Justice League On HBO Max, nothing is set in stone, and if the streaming service wants to continue this franchise, maybe Ryan Choi will become The Atom at some point on screen.
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