Following the news of the arrest of Stan Lee’s former business partner, Keya Morgan, a more positive remembrance of Lee has been released. As the first Marvel Studios film released after Lee’s death last year, ‘Captain Marvel’ paid tribute in a lovely way, by swapping out the familiar Marvel “page flip” “opening fanfare” with a montage of Lee’s various cameos. Now that tribute can be viewed online, via Reddit:
Stan lee version of MCU Opening Fanfare (re-post; the one on the front page has corrupted audio) from r/marvelstudios
While Lee didn’t create all of the stars of the Marvel films, such as Captain America, Captain Marvel, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, he was the creative force behind the creation of the Marvel Comics Universe. Without the foundation he laid, those characters would not have come to exist. (Well, except Captain America, who pre-dated the MCU, but you know what I mean.)
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In the beginning, Lee’s cameos in the movies were more like Easter Eggs for readers of the comics, as most of the general audience didn’t know who he was. But the films have become such a force in the mainstream, in the past few years, his cameos drew laughter all around, as even non-comic readers learned of his importance. And his larger-than-life “huckster” persona endeared him with everyone.
In addition to the intro, ‘Captain Marvel’ also included one of his last cameos. He appeared on a commuter train during a sequence in which Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel is searching for a Skrull invader. He is shown reading the script for Kevin Smith’s comedy ‘Mallrats’, a film in which Lee made a significant appearance. But following his death, the scene, in which he makes eye contact with Captain Marvel and smiles warmly, was a bit more melancholy than previous cameos. (“Tony Stank?”)
‘Captain Marvel’ co-director Anna Boden said:
“Instead of just the pure laugh we had, we had a little bit of a smile from Captain Marvel in response to it, and she kind of breaks character for a moment. I think it reflects a little bit of what the audience is feeling, and we allowed that to happen.”
At the London premiere of ‘Captain Marvel’, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige reflected:
“It’s sad. I mean it feels like one of the first red carpets without him, this being the first Marvel Studios film released without him, you know. Frankly, we feel like all the films we’ve made are a tribute to his work and we’re always trying to do our best and do right by he and all his co-creators. This one, though, is particularly important since it’s the first one. So, yes his cameo and this film sort of begins as a celebration to Stan and his legacy.”
Perhaps fittingly, Lee’s final film cameo was in ‘Avengers: Endgame’, which did not utilize the Lee opening fanfare. Considering that this picture in many ways capped off the first decade+ of Marvel Studios films, it fits that this contains his last film appearance.
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Co-director Joe Russo said:
“This was his final cameo that was committed to film. It was always… Again, I grew up as a Marvel fanatic, and watching Spider-Man cartoon show as a kid with his voice in it. I think anything that affects you as a child really affects you as an adult, sticks with you. So when he would come on set, and we’d hear his voice, it’s sort of Pavlovian in a way, where you just become a child again. The whole crew would be like that. People were always… All these movie stars on set every day, and then Stan would show up, and it was just like people were kids all over again.”
You can also relive the Stan Lee intro tribute as ‘Captain Marvel’ is now available to buy digitally, and will be released on Blu-Ray on June 11th.
‘Avengers: Endgame’ is not playing in theaters and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ swings into theaters on July 2nd.