Eternals movie highlights diversity and disabilities


Dauntae Green, Managing Editor

Get ready for a superhero movie that shows representation in diversity, disability, laser beams, cool fight scenes, interesting story, and beautiful cinematography. It’s the Marvel movie Eternals which is about The Eternals that are immortal beings with superpowers that have been secretly living on Earth for thousands of years come back together to battle the evil Deviants. The movie is directed by Chloe Zhao, who won many awards for her film Nomadland, she wanted to focus more into locations, practical sense, and more of the myths for the characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to bring inspiration towards representation through the characters. The cast has diversity, disability, and all shows representation towards people to look up to. They are the following; Gemma Chan as Sersei, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, and Lauren Ridloff as Makarri. Marvel Studios did something different with a superhero movie by giving the chance for a deaf actress, Lauren Ridloff to be their first deaf superhero to be seen up on screen.

Lauren Ridloff, the deaf actress, paves the path to movies having more representation towards people with disabilities, and is the first deaf superhero on screen. She played as Makkari who is an Eternal that is deaf, and has the ability of super speed. She hopes to inspire the deaf community further, “I didn’t dream of becoming an actor because I didn’t see enough of myself on the screen. I didn’t get to dream that big, so now, with Eternals, I’m hoping that more people will be able to dream bigger. If I can do it, they can do it. I might be the first but I won’t be the only one for much longer.” Deaf people hope that this movie, just like with The Quiet Place, Sound of Metal, Eternals, and CODA, will help push the accessibility of having subtitles in movies in movie theaters today. Recently, there has been an increase in hearing people to learn more about sign language ever since this film has come out. During the movie you can see her signing Sign Language to many of her co-actors and portrayed the first deaf superhero in movie history. 

The diversity of the movie gives a chance for many generations to be inspired and proud of who they are with the characters that show up on screen. The actors that were representing diversity were Salma Hayek who is a Mexican-American actress, Gemma Chan who is identified as British Asian, Kumail Nanjiani who is Pakistani-American, and South Korean American actor Don Lee. The actors who makes an impact in some ways with their diversity were Lauren Ridloff who is a deaf Mexican-American that shines representation for deafness in the movie, and Brian Tyree Henry who is a black american actor that played as Marvel’s first gay character. Salma Hayek cried when she put her costume on for the movie, “The image of it did something to me and I said, ‘Why? I saw my brown face. I saw my brown face in a superhero suit. And in seeing my face, I saw your face. I saw my face as a little girl, who had to have a lot of courage to dream big. I saw the faces of all the little girls and I realized that a door had opened where I didn’t enter alone — but inside that suit were all the Latinos who waited so long for this moment.” This inspires and makes many people proud when they are watching this movie through the diversity shown.

Diversity, disability, inclusion was an important aspect of this movie to show to the world and make people proud in the end. Be proud of who you are no matter what race you are, and maybe start learning sign language. The movie Eternals is still playing in theaters near you, go check it out, and have fun!