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SYFY WIRE Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Zack Snyder pitches his plan for Ryan Choi’s Atom solo film, after character is restored in the ‘Snyder Cut’

By Josh Weiss

Zack Snyder has said time and again that the four-hour cut of Justice League now streaming on HBO Max is his final foray into the onscreen DC Universe. Even Warner Bros. hasn't shied away from the fact that it will not be — to borrow some parlance of the times — "restoring the SnyderVerse," which included a trio of Justice League movies.

Snyder is moving on to greener (and more undead) pastures with his budding Army of the Dead universe at Netflix, but that hasn't stopped the stylish filmmaker from thinking about future plans for the DC Extended Universe.

One of those plans involves a potential standalone movie for Ryan Choi, aka the Atom. The character (played by Zheng Kai) was restored in Zack Snyder's Justice League as Silas Stone's young lab assistant. After Silas (Joe Morton) sacrifices himself during the fight against Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), Choi is named the head of the S.T.A.R. Labs crew studying the fallen Kryptoian ship in Metropolis. If things had worked out a little differently, Snyder would have crafted a multilingual Atom-centric adventure "with English and Chinese" speaking characters, he recently told Beyond The Trailer's Grace Randolph.

"Frankly, I think Netflix is really good at this. We’ve just done it with the Army of the Dead prequel, Army of Thieves, where it’s an English, French, and German language movie," he continued. "It’s this super international film; it’s a heist movie; it’s a romance; and it’s this beautiful little movie that Matthias [Schweighöfer] made. But it feels international and I think that that was what I had in mind for Ryan."

The director didn't want to just set the movie in China, but have it be an all-out exploration of Asian culture (something Marvel is set later this year to do with the release of Shang-Chi). "Not that this Chinese character is in the movie," Snyder explained, "but we’re in his movie."

Watch the full interview below:

Created in the early 1960s by Julius Schwartz, Gardner Fox, and Gil Kane, Atom — at least the version fans are familiar with today — is basically DC's version of Ant-Man (though Ray Palmer made his debut a year before Hank Pym did). Thanks to a piece of sci-fi tech known as a "white dwarf lens," he's able to adjust his size and mass at will. Hong Kong native Ryan Choi inherited the mantle after Palmer (his teacher at Ivy University) went missing.

Two versions of Zack Snyder's Justice League — the normal, full-colored movie and the "Justice is Gray" black-and-white cut (the director's personal preference) — are now available to stream on HBO Max. While appearing at Justice Con over the weekend, Snyder announced three in-person charity screenings scheduled for July, and also voiced his hope to have more theatrical engagements in the fall.