Comic legend Stan Lee explains his 1st starring role in new superhero flick Mighty 7

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Jan 7, 2014, 3:50 PM EST (Updated)

It’s taken a while but, at 91 years of age, Stan Lee is finally ready for a major starring role in a superhero movie. 

The comic legend, who created some of Marvel’s most beloved characters, is still at it — and he’s teamed up with the Hub Network for a standalone animated movie around his newest creation: Stan Lee's Mighty 7.

The animated feature will star Lee as a version of himself, helping guide a new superhero team comprised of alien heroes. The feature is set to debut at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1 on the Hub cable network. The film is based on Lee’s comic of the same name, which launched in 2012. So, how’d it come about? Stan was bored, and when Stan is bored, cool things happen.

Here’s an excerpt from Lee’s recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where he explains how his starring role came about:

“I was looking for something to do. I remembered the first successful superhero thing I'd done was the Fantastic Four. If that was good, what is even better than four? I thought I'd do eight, but I couldn't find anything that rhymed beautifully with eight or sounded good. So I thought the Mighty 7 had a good sound to it. I very often start with the title and make up the story to go with it. I thought, ‘Boy, wouldn't it be keen if I put myself in the story and did the world's first reality comic book?’ Then it occurred to me, what if I found seven superheroes and got them to work for me. They would do all the work, and I would just write whatever happened. I'd chronicle their adventures. It seemed like a cool idea. Then I figured, ‘OK, now where did I find them?’ What's easier than having them crash-land in a spaceship from another planet where everybody has some superpower or another, and they don't even consider it a superpower on their home planet? Everybody has something special he or she can do. So I find the guys after their ship crash-lands and say, ‘I tell you what. I'll write the stories of all the adventures you have [on Earth] and turn you into superheroes.’ This is the first of three movies to TV, and of course the minute those three are over, every studio will be fighting to make a live-action film [laughs]…

I figured since nobody in Hollywood is going to discover me, and nobody seems to realize the potential I have in becoming the next Laurence Olivier, I'd have to do it myself and show them. Maybe that won't sound as if I'm kidding [laughs]. I thought it would be fun. I've done a million cameos [including The Big Bang Theory with Bialik]. It's fun to be part of a cast, but it does more that satisfy my vanity. From the point of view of the story, nobody has even done that angle before, where a writer finds some real superheroes and says, "You go ahead and have your adventures, and I want the exclusive on writing your story." In order to do that, I had to put myself in the story -- even though I'm terribly shy and very reluctant ever to do anything where the public will see me [laughs].”

It’s awesome to get a peek into the way Lee’s mind works, even if he hasn’t had a major hit character lately. If nothing else, this could be a uniquely cool diversion, and a nice intro for younger fans into the awesomeness of Stan Lee.

Do you plan on checking it out?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

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