We're coming up on the two-week anniversary of Stan Lee's death, and the pain of losing such a Marvel legend has yet to dissipate. It's understandable, but also quite amazing when you start to think about it. The man was 95 years old when he passed, but he was as busy as if he were 30, posting on social media, interacting with fans, and, of course, appearing in the usual MCU cameo.
On that last front, Stan was particularly close with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who helped turn Lee's most beloved creations into an onscreen comic book universe, something that had pretty much never been attempted before. Writing a short guest piece for Entertainment Weekly, Feige recalled his last encounter with the Lee two weeks before Lee's death.
"I went to his house to see him, and he reminisced about the cameos. We were talking about what was coming up, always looking to the future," Feige wrote. "Did he know that his time was running out? I don’t know. In hindsight, he was slightly more wistful than I’d seen him before. He talked about the past more than I had ever heard him talk about the past. So maybe on some level, he knew."
It's been confirmed that Lee filmed a bunch of MCU cameos before he passed away (thank goodness!), but he couldn't help joking about getting a meatier role next time around:
"When I sat down by his chair in our last meeting, the very first thing he said was: 'I know you want me to star in the next movie, but I have to just stick to the cameos. You’ll have to leave the starring roles to the other actors. I’m sorry,'" Feige added.
Hey, it's not a bad idea by any stretch of the imagination. Remember the "Stan-Lee-is-Uatu" theory that got a lot of traction some years ago? Seeing him in a feature-length role (not just in a cameo) would have been pretty awesome. Nevertheless, his destiny was to rack up some of the most epic cameos of all time.
"He came in, did a cameo that excited everybody, and would let his work speak for itself ... He would show up to the movie sets game for anything," continued Feige. "But one thing he would always do is try to add more lines. He always would joke — but not really joke — about wanting more lines, although he understood why we couldn’t."
And let's be honest, Stan the Man stole every single frame that he ever appeared in. Don't tell us you didn't explode into laughter when he talked about finally having to psychologically pay for his drug-related '60s exploits when he showed up in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
"God forbid he would start to overshadow the hero," reads the end of Feige's piece. "That was something a character like Stan Lee could easily do."