Eternals director Chloe Zhao explains how important deaf accessibility was for the film with open-captioned showtimes. She sat down with Comicbook.com's Brandon Davis to speak about the fan petitions and Lauren Ridloff's part in helping raise awareness. She plays Makkari in the MCU feature and uses ASL throughout the film. Fans who are deaf and those hard of hearing wanted this inclusion and Marvel helped make this happen. AMC also unveiled a plan to have a number of screenings with open captions for multiple films. Zhao gives a lot of credit to Marvel Studios for pushing this idea forward with their film partners. The director also gives Ridloff a ton of praise in helping her understand how to approach her character. This is a move that's going to make a lot of people happy and enable fans that might not have been able to attend with an opportunity to see the film. Check out what she had to say right here.
"Well, I give props to Marvel. When I came into the process, they already have this deaf superhero written into the treatment. And then Lauren coming in, really, I completely rely on her to bring this character to life," Zhao explained. "And I learned so much about the things that I never thought. The idea of deaf gain, the idea of there's something that she is capable of doing and experiencing with the world that I don't have a chance to experience. And that's something so beautiful.
"And she also really is advocating the experience of theatrical experience and not just relying on the box. There's a box where you read this," she added. "So it was very important for us to have closed captioning on the screen for the deaf community at our opening, and then also encouraging the theaters and making sure they do that as well."
AMC has actually tried to incorporate more of these inclusive strategies by adding open caption showtimes at numerous locations in the United States.
"Inclusive programming is core to AMC's strategy, and we're proud to lead the theatrical exhibition industry by making some open caption showtimes available at hundreds of our locations nationwide. By adding open captions to the variety of presentation formats we offer, AMC locations become a more welcoming place for millions of Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as many for whom English is not their native language," Elizabeth Frank, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Programming & Chief Content Officer, AMC said in a statement. "Initial consumer response has been very positive, and we anticipate strong demand with growing awareness of open caption showtimes at AMC."
Would you like to see more open caption screenings for movies? Let us know down in the comments!