Marvel Studios’ latest movie release ‘Eternals’, directed by Oscar winning director Chloe Zhao, boasts one of its most diverse cast as well as its first deaf superhero.
Angelina Jolie, one of the stars of the film, told Reuters, “I hope it just starts to normalize what should have been there in the first place. I hope people watch these films in years to come and we don’t even think about it as being diverse, it just becomes what’s normal and what’s right, and what’s appropriate representation of the world we live in.”
Gemma Chan, who plays the lead role of Sersi, said, “It’s got a different tone, visually it’s going to be quite different.”
“Eternals” also features the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first deaf character, Makkari, played by Lauren Ridloff, herself a deaf actor.
“I might be the first but I won’t be the only one for much longer,” signed Ridloff in ASL (American Sign Language). “There’s another deaf superhero coming into the MCU very soon so this is definitely a game-changer.”
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ridloff explained how having an ASL consultant on set helped the hearing actors learn how to interact with her during their scenes.
“[The ASL consultant] was very significant in providing support to the hearing actors who wanted to sign their dialogue or who wanted to have that chance to do improvisational things during the shoot. He was there to teach them how to adjust their signs for that, so it wasn’t my responsibility as a Deaf actor to teach other actors their lines. I just had to work on my lines.”
Ridloff also shared that it was Angelina Jolie who suggested using a laser pointer, instead of traditional audio cues, to signal her when to turn around during a scene when she was facing a wall.
Delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “Eternals” will hit cinemas on Nov. 5, 2021.