When “Crisis on Infinite Earths” hits the Arrowverse next week it won’t just be bringing to life the iconic comic book event that fans have been hoping to see live-action for years. It will also be introducing many new characters into The CW‘s Arrowverse and among them is Ryan Choi. Played by Supernatural alum Osric Chau, the arrival of Ryan Choi as part of “Crisis” was first announced back in September with the character being described as a physics professor whose life is turned upside down when he learns about his pivotal role in the coming Crisis. Now, with just days to go before the character makes its live-action debut, Chau is opening up about bringing the fan-favorite character to life.
In a recent interview with Newsarama, Chau said that he loved playing Ryan Choi and that should the character be brought back after “Crisis”, he has definite ideas for comic book elements of the character he’d like to see come to life.
“I absolutely love playing Ryan,” Chau said. “I read the comics a while back and there’s a lot of little details that I wanted to put in but being the new guy on set I didn’t want to rock the boat too much. If they bring Ryan back, I think I’ll have more confidence in putting it in. For some of those little beats, if he takes too long or if he adds in a second — they just can’t do it in the edit, and they’d have to cut it out anyway. So, I think for this I was more concerned of just making sure I did my job before I start throwing in all those little things that I love so much about the comics.”
When it comes to the comics, Chau said that he got into the comics initially thanks to a roommate, but quickly came to love the character and even reached out to co-creator Gail Simone.
“I don’t usually read comics. The Ryan Choi comics were actually the first I read as a kid and I only read it because my roommate – this was like seven, eight years ago – my roommate, we went through a list of all these superheroes I could play,” Chau said. “If you could play a superhero it would probably be Ryan Choi. Then I got all of Ryan Choi comics and I was like, ‘Yeah, you’re right.'”
“And this was like way back when superheroes were just starting to become prominent, and as this Asian actor I was like I got to do something towards that,” he continued. “We actually put a pitch packet together for Ryan Choi because I did a lot of research and I love the story. I even connected with Gail Simone who is the writer of it. So, when I came to the audition – they’re were fake sides, but I knew right away I’m like, ‘This is Ryan.’ Like I told the writers in the room like ‘This is Ryan, right?’ I think I definitely caught them off guard.”
Chau wasn’t able to offer any details about Ryan Choi’s introduction to the Arrowverse in “Crisis” but for fans the character’s arrival will deliver on the way the shows have been setting up for his arrival for years. For starters, Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) taught at Ivy Town during Season 1 of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow — just like Ryan does. The character was also mentioned by name in The Flash‘s Season 5 premiere where he was named as the future scientist who engineers Barry Allen’s Flash ring and costume.
Fans are also already speculating about the future of the character post-“Crisis”. Given the news that Routh will be leaving Legends midway through the upcoming fifth season, the notion that Ryan is suddenly appearing in the Arrowverse is certainly interesting. Whether or not Chau will end up reprising the character in Legends – as The Atom or otherwise – will remain to be seen.
Chau joins a pretty stacked list of guest-stars for “Crisis”, including characters from Black Lightning, Smallville stars Tom Welling and Erica Durance, prolific Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy, and legendary Robin actor Burt Ward.
“Crisis on Infinite Earths” kicks off on Sunday, December 8 on Supergirl, runs through a Monday episode of Batwoman and that Tuesday’s episode of The Flash. That will be the midseason cliffhanger, as the shows go on hiatus for the holidays and return on January 14 to finish out the event with the midseason premiere of Arrow and a “special episode” of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, which launches as a midseason series this year and so will not have an episode on the air before the Crisis.