The version of Justice League that hit theaters may not have been Zack Snyder’s vision for the film, Joss Whedon made a lot of changes including cutting out characters. Recently Snyder confirmed that the Ryan Choi version of The Atom (not Ray Palmer).
Fans had previously spotted the appearance of Ryan Choi’s name in Justice League in a digital list of all STAR Labs employees working for or alongside Dr. Silas Stone. The detail was taken to be an Easter Egg in a movie filled with plenty more. But now, Snyder has confirmed that an actor was cast to play Choi, although whatever plans he had for the character were scrapped along with a good chunk of his cut of the film.
Unfortunately, the STAR Labs staff and storyline was completely removed from the movie once reshoots and post-production turned over to Joss Whedon. So while it may seem like actor Ryan Zheng (The Great Wall) may have been only an Easter Egg, that may not have been the entire plan.
It’s possible that Snyder intended to include Ryan Choi in STAR Labs, either referred to by name or not (but having him included, and portrayed by an actor of Asian descent would, and will, please fans). But knowing that production photos confirm an action scene for Justice League took place at STAR Labs, the opportunity would have been present to tease Choi’s coming powers. After all, Snyder took heat in the past for teasing too many DC superhero origin stories.
We will probably never know what could have been when it comes to The Atom, but as DC continues to explore options and opportunities for the Worlds of DC, maybe Ryan Choi will have the last laugh.