Did you know that around a third of the deaf and hard of hearing community struggles with low literacy skills? Reading is not easy to learn when so much of its foundation is in the study of sound. This is where American Sign Language (ASL) comes into play. Visual language helps bridge the language barrier for deaf communities, but it’s closed captioning that’s more readily available on streaming services like Disney+. With that, the streamer — along with Marvel Studios — gave ASL speakers an exciting gift — a version of a Marvel Cinematic Universe film that uses the language.
In honor of National American Sign Language Day, Wonder announced one of his films for the first time ever – the one from 2015 ant man — now has an ASL version and can be streamed on the website and in the app. For those with one Disney+ subscription, if you click on the first Paul Rudd-led Marvel film on the platform and go to the extras tab in the menu before hitting play, you can watch the ASL version of the superhero’s origin story. It features ASL cast member Jac Cook in the lower right corner providing translations throughout the film, as follows:
The ASL version of ant man was developed by Deluxe, RespectAbility along with Douglas Ridloff, husband of Lauren Ridloff – the actress who plays the MCU’s first deaf superhero. Douglas has also served as an ASL trainer and consultant eternalboth A quiet place movies & Marvel is coming echo series. Delbert Whetter, one of the minds behind this new dub, says it was created to “communicate Ant-Man’s entertaining dialogue and sound effects in a way that reflects Marvel’s distinctive style, subversive humor and fast-paced action” in ASL.
The ASL-speaking community erupted in cheers Twitter about the announcement, although some people are definitely confused as to why the Paul Rudd-led film was specifically chosen as the first film. Why not do that Marvel movies in order? Many hope this will result in the option being applied to “every single movie,” while others say Disney+ will try the feature beforehand hawk eye spinoff series echo, in which Alaqua Cox plays Maya Lopez, a deaf Native American superhero. Lopez’s latest adventure takes place after the events of Clint Barton’s series and the release date has yet to be announced.
This step may also be due to the was the last MCU film to hit theaters Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Marvel and Disney+ may have thought more viewers would return to the superhero film that marked the beginning of Scott Lang’s journey into the cinematic universe. With the ASL version out now, one can’t help but wonder if the platform and other streaming services will make more ASL versions of movies available to the audience. One can only hope.
Find out about more Marvel movies on Disney+ and know the next entry is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3which hits theaters on May 5 as part of the 2023 new film release schedule.