One thing that almost every Marvel related product has in common, whether they are released by Sony, Marvel Studios or 20th Century Fox, is the cameo by the founding father of the Marvel universe, Stan the Man Lee. Over the years he has appeared as a hillbilly, an old man playing chess, Larry King, Hugh Hefner, a librarian… one way or another filmmakers have found ways to include Lee in their films as a nod to the comic universe the man helped create, and nowadays as a nod to all of the Marvel movies out there with Lee’s face. He has become the in-joke of Marvel movies, and the fact that he is not bound by rights issues like some of his creations make his appearance even more magical. And for Lee, he seems to love it, in his own words:
“Whenever a new movie comes out, I hope they’ll have a spot for me. I get such a kick out of doing it. The fans seem to like it. I’m going to tell you a secret, here’s the reason the movies make so much money: My cameo. A man takes a girl to the movie, right? They’re watching the movie and they bend down to get some popcorn. In so doing, they miss my cameo. Now the movie ends, and they say, ‘My God, we missed Stan’s cameo!’ So what do they do? They run to the box office and buy two more tickets and see it again. That’s why the movies do so well, because of my cameos.”
Of course, that does not mean he does not occasionally have gripes about his cameo in a film, as he did for his short appearance in the recent smash hit ‘Deadpool’ :
“I wish I had spent more time in the strip club. They had me in and out too quickly.”
That’s what she sa– never mind. Apparently Stan Lee is indeed a dirty old man, but who can blame a guy in his 90’s (93 to be exact) from wanting to spend a little extra time amongst some lovely ladies while appearing in one of the movies his work helped inspire. For now, having a Stan Lee appearance brings a little lightness and heart to every Marvel movie he appears in, and if he is the magic touch that makes these films so successful (check out this article where he jokingly claims the new ‘Fantastic Four’ failed because he did not cameo), let us hope he can keep making cameos for years to come.