On November 12, 2018, the great Stan Lee passed away at the age of 95, leaving a huge void in the hearts of all Marvel Comics fans. The comic book tycoon was also known for his likable cameos in the vast majority of Marvel films. Now that he’s passed away, those little apparitions are over. Unless…
Stan Lee: a fading giant
Born in 1922 in New York, Stan Lee has dedicated his life to comics. He made his first entry into the world of superheroes at 19 when he writes the text of an adventure of Captain America for Timely Comics (which later became Marvel Comics). He began to make his place in the company where he shone in the 1960s when he created many characters destined to become emblematic such as The Fantastic 4, Hulk, the X-Men and of course Spider-Man. He instantly became one of the greatest comic book writers of his generation and the boss of Marvel Comics.
From the end of the 1990s, Stan Lee begins to appear in the various Marvel superhero films. Fans can find him here and there during short appearances that have quickly become a tradition: Stan Lee’s cameos are particularly appreciated and eagerly awaited. With the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Stan Lee continued to appear in Marvel Studios productions and therefore gained popularity among the general public. But when he dies in 2018his cameos end with his disappearance.
Soon his big return?
His last film appearance dates back to Avengers :Endgame. Since his passing, Marvel movies continue to quote Stan the Man, but in different ways. For example, we can see in one of a newspaper article in Venom: Let There Be Carnage. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, Stan Lee could reappear on screen.
Indeed, Marvel Studios has just signed an important agreement with Genius Brands International and POW! (Stan Lee’s entertainment company) for authorize the use of the image of the famous author comics in all its forms. Whether in movies, in merchandising, or in theme parks. So Stan Lee might reappear via archive images or in CGI in future productions of the firm. Andy Heyward, CEO of Genius Brands said:
It really guarantees that Stan, through digital technology and archival footage and other forms, will continue to live in this important place: the Marvel movies and the Disney theme parks. It’s a big deal.
So while the use of Stan Lee’s image in the future remains somewhat unclear, this agreement suggests that he could return to the screen in his famous cameos. As with Peter Cushing in RogueOnethe use of synthetic images now makes it possible to bring deceased personalities back to the screen. An idea, already at the time, which had led to mixed returns. This is indeed a possibility that can worry about morale as to the use of deceased persons for profit-making purposes.
In conclusion, although this agreement allows for such opportunities, no statement has been made from Marvel Studios who, at this time, reportedly has no plans regarding the return of Stan Lee cameos. So, good or bad idea? The future will tell.