Avengers: Endgame will wrap up a storyline that's been building in momentum for the last decade, but it may also mark the end of an important era: the late Stan Lee's many cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While promoting the Avengers: Infinity War sequel on a press tour in India, co-director Joe Russo revealed the film may be the last time we see Stan pop up on screen (at least in the flesh) in one of his patented, seconds-long cameos.
"I believe that his final cameo is in Endgame. I don't remember if he was well enough to do the [Spider-Man: Far From Home] cameo or not," said the filmmaker. "I grew up on these comic books, Stan Lee was an idol of mine when I was a kid. To be able to have the opportunity to not only work on the material that he created, but to work with him, is a childhood dream come true."
If this turns out to be the case, it won't just be the end of Lee's presence in the MCU, but in all Marvel movies ever to be made. With Fox's entertainment properties now owned by Disney, Sony is the only other major studio to have the onscreen rights to Marvel characters.
And since Lee, who passed away in November, will definitely be appearing in Endgame, it's just a question of when the plot will bring him up.
Was he affected by Thanos' (Josh Brolin) Infinity Snap, or did he survive it? If it's the former, he'll show up once the effects are reversed by the Avengers. If it's the latter, he'll appear sometime beforehand. For instance, we find it very likely that he might be a member of the post-Snap support group we see Captain America (Chris Evans) attending in the trailers.
Avengers: Endgame assembles in theaters everywhere April 26. Joe directed it with his brother and usual creative collaborator, Anthony.