In addition to his writing, many know Lee for hisMarvel Cinematic Universe cameos. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige opened up in an Entertainment Weekly essay about his final meeting with the legend.
Feige’s tribute outlines Lee’s impact on the Marvel universe as a whole, including opening the doors for Black Panther to exist.
What director Ryan Coogler was able to do with Black Panther would not exist if not for Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby taking a quote-unquote ‘risk’ bringing in an African—not even African-American, an African—character to their stories who was smarter and wealthier and more technologically advanced than any other hero. This was at the height of the civil rights movement, and that’s astounding to me. He really had a good heart.
He also details his final conversation with Lee, explaining how he joked about and reflected on his iconic cameos.
“Some of his lessons are unspoken. He didn’t come to set and read the scripts and review the cuts. He came in, did a cameo that excited everybody, and would let his work speak for itself.
“He was very nice in my interactions with him, including what ended up being my final conversation with him about two weeks before he died.
“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.
“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.
“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.’
“He would show up to the movie sets game for anything. 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.
“God forbid he would start to overshadow the hero. That was something a character like Stan Lee could easily do.”
Stan Lee’s upcoming cameos
A Lee cameo was revealed this week with the opening of Disney’s Ralph Breaks The Internet, the sequel to 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph.
Ralph Breaks The Internet isn’t the last time Lee will make a cameo on the big screen. The day after his passing, it was revealed he already filmed several upcoming scenes.
With Marvel films announced through 2020, many wondered which one would mark Lee’s final cameo appearance. According to Screen Rant, Marvel Studios had been filming several of his scenes at once.
Lee’s agent and director Joe Russo have both confirmed Lee filmed scenes through the still untitled Avengers 4. This means Lee will appear in Captain Marvel and Avengers 4. It’s still unknown if Lee will appear in Spider-Man: Far From Home, which hits theaters after Avengers 4. If not, it will mark the first Marvel film without him.
Ralph Breaks The Internet is in theaters now. Captain Marvel hits theaters March 8, 2019 and the untitled Avengers 4 arrives May 3, 2019.