Marvel's Phase 4 slate is already looking promising, and that will include the upcoming Eternals film, which includes some big star power. Part of that talented cast is Lauren Ridloff, an actress who also happens to be deaf, and her use of ASL throughout the movie will be a big first for the Marvel Studios films. That said, a new petition has surfaced from Sarah Feisthamel that is asking for the Studio to do one better and allow for deaf and those hard of hearing to truly enjoy the movie in theaters by making it open captioned so that all fans can get the most out of their theater-going experience.
The petition already has 1,052 signatures of its 1,500 goal, and points out just how many worldwide are dealing with hearing loss of some kind, and how this move would be a true win for Marvel.
"Around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, and 34 million of those people are children, according to the World Health Organization," Feisthamel writes. "Open Captions are on-screen text that allows everyone to enjoy a film equally. People who are hard of hearing have to use closed caption equipment which is often broken, dirty, and uncomfortable, or have to wait until the video is available at home. Marvel movies are larger than life. All moviegoers should be able to enjoy the action in the theater comfortably, at the same exact time--and not be forced to wait for a lesser experience."
Feisthamel notes that the closed captioning setup in theaters is often subpar, and would love Marvel to make it a non-issue for Eternals.
"The whole world will be rushing to theaters to see this film. But the people who need to see it the most won't even be able to understand it," Feisthamel writes. "I am a stay at home mom of three toddlers. One of my kids has a Sensory Disorder, and going to things like the movies can be pretty traumatic for him. While we've been learning ASL so that he can speak, I want him to be able to experience this movie fully. Closed caption equipment often fails, or doesn't fit right when it's only available in adult sizes. And captions just aren't for people with hearing disorders--I also use captions myself at home 24/7 because I have PTSD and loud noises really get to me."
"We're asking Marvel Studios to release this film with open captions for every showing. Not only would it make history, but it is the RIGHT thing to do."
You can check out the full petition right here, and let us know in the comments if you think Marvel should make this happen!