Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo And More Of The OG Avengers Assembled For An Important Marvel Project, And The Story Behind It Is So Moving

 From left to right: Black Widow holding up a gun, Thor holding up his hammer, Captain America holding his shield in his right hand, Hawkeye looking up, Iron Man looking up and Hulk looking up in Avengers.
Credit: Marvel

Four of the original Avengers have assembled for a very special and important Marvel project! Yes, you read that correctly. While Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans aren’t reprising their roles in a conventional sense or for an upcoming MCU movie, they have returned to their iconic heroes to help dub The Avengers in the Lakota language.

The Meaning Behind Dubbing The Avengers In The Lakota Language

The goal of The Lakota Project is to “help reintroduce and promote the Lakota language,” Marvel wrote. Mark Ruffalo has collaborated with this community before, and he was stoked to help dub the movie and reassemble the Avengers.

In a video for Marvel, Lakota dub executive producer Ray Taken Alive explained the importance of this project, and what it means for the language and their community, he said:

You have the most famous film franchise in the world, and some of the most famous actors and celebrities and characters speaking our Lakota language that was once banned. So, I think one of the really beautiful things from the project is our language doesn't have to hide anymore. What was awesome about this project is that we’re building sustainability, we’re building capacity, we’re building expertise within our nations. Now we have tribal members, we have members who have done an amazing project with Marvel and Disney who know how to get it done.

Earlier in the video, he explained that the Lakota language “went kind of underground” because their ancestors weren’t supposed to speak it, and they’d get in trouble in places like boarding schools for it.

However, now there’s this initiative to help people learn it and bring it back to life, because they're able to provide resources and empowerment on such a mainstream level. Cyril “Chuck” Archambault, another Lakota dub executive producer, explained this point in the video, saying:

The idea is to put the language back into the homes of our people, and to be able to have them bond in a such a way that they’re having fun watching a movie and be totally integrated with the language of our people.

Overall, this project is helping bring attention and visibility to this Indigenous language, and it’s a major step forward in terms of representation. Now, anyone with a Disney+ subscription can watch one of the best Marvel movies in the Lakota language and learn more about it.

Mark Ruffalo was excited about this mission, and ultimately, he helped with it by lending his voice to Bruce Banner/The Hulk and helping get some of the OG cast involved.

Mark Ruffalo Explains How The Avengers Actors Played A Part In This Project

According to Marvel, it took 15 months and 62 Lakota-Dakota language speakers to dub this movie. It also involved four very big names from the original film. Mark Ruffalo said that this project “came out of my relationship with the Lakota people,” and from there Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans got involved.

They all re-recorded their lines as Hulk, Iron Man, Black Widow and Captain America in Lakota, and they loved it. As Ruffalo explained:

Just getting everyone together and on the same page is probably the most difficult thing. But, everyone really was into it. It’s a daunting language. There’s sounds that we just don’t have in our own language, that they have in there’s. But once you start to get them it feels really good.

It’s not shocking so many of the original cast were able to do this, because the Avengers cast is notably very close in real life. Ruffalo also noted that they were excited to help dub this movie and give the Lakota language a new and massive platform.

You can tell they had fun doing it too. At one point in the video (which you can watch below), you can even hear RDJ say:

Dude, that is just so slick. What a beautiful language.

The actors were instructed on pronunciation and inflection, and they really worked to make sure it was an authentic representation of the Lakota language. As Ruffalo said:

It wasn’t just a dub, it was a recreation of The Avengers with the Lakota sensibility, the language.

During this process, Archambault explained that they recorded the dub at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation with Indigenous actors who were doing the voice work for various other parts in the MCU movie. Ruffalo then said that when he came in to do his part, the rest of the movie was already dubbed.

Overall, this project is remarkable, empowering and moving. Hopefully, they’ll be able to dub more movies. It’d be pretty epic if you could watch the Marvel movies in order in Lakota! As they said, this project is “just the beginning,” so hopefully there will be more popular films like The Avengers dubbed soon.

If you want to stream The Avengers in Lakota, you can do so on Disney+. To see what Marvel is up to next, make sure to mark your calendars, because the release of Deadpool and Wolverine is swiftly approaching its July 26 premiere on the 2024 movie schedule.