Marvel Studios helped bring Stan Lee’s creations to the world at large, and now, with fans mourning the comic legend’s passing, the company’s leader has given his own thoughts on the death of one of the industry’s titans. Marvel Studios head and producer Kevin Feige remembered the man who gave him a nickname (“Fearless Feige”), a tradition, and a toy box full of superheroes to unleash upon the box office.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Feige explained that he first met Lee during the shoot of the latter’s first cameo, in what would kick off an instant tradition. “It seemed like a tradition you should not break, even though it was the first one,” Feige said of the day on the set of 2000’s X-Men.
“It would be a holiday on set, when he came to do his cameos. That’s how much he inspired people. Whether it was the beginning of the shoot, the middle, the end, the energy would skyrocket when he came on the set. Those are my strongest memories," he said. "And as much as we and the audience love the cameos, Stan loved and was so proud of every one.” So how many more times will film fans get to see the 95-year-old alongside the heroes he brought to life?
Well, we know that Lee had filmed a few more cameos before his death — at least one or two more, in fact. That likely means Avengers 4, Captain Marvel, and possibly one other film. As for the future after that, Feige notes that “one of the many things [he] learned from Stan was that everyone likes a surprise.” That could potentially be anything, seeing as Carrie Fisher was made young again by CGI and entire actors were layered over the faces of others in Rogue One. Or maybe add a Stan Lee statue to the MCU version of New York? The technology is there to put Stan Lee in every Marvel film if they so desire, but as far as what makes sense for Marvel, Feige is still considering.
“We’ll think about an appropriate way [to honor him],” the producer said, “but even in the 18 years I’ve been at Marvel, the appropriate way is to do justice to the amazing characters and stories that he created. And we’ll continue to do that.” So hopefully no CGI reanimations and instead the cementing of a legacy in the future of the MCU.