Marvel Studios have become masters of major star cameos over the years. From Elon Musk in Iron Man 2 to Julia Louis-Dreyfus in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, these cameos are varied and it doesn’t feel like they will stop anytime soon.
However, there has been one continuous cameo that has been missing in the recent Marvel projects. That’s of Stan Lee, the former creative leader of Marvel who passed away in 2018 at 95 years of age. Lee had made cameo appearances in the initial 22 movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Apart from Marvel Studio movies, he also showed up in Sony and Fox’s Marvel films as well. Stan Lee’s cameos have always been fun little Easter eggs that fans could always look forward to. So surely, fans will be looking forward to seeing him in future projects too.
But right now, it looks like his screen cameos might have come to an end.
Right now, the word is that Marvel Studios isn’t allowing any new cameos of the late Stan Lee. Surprisingly, this news didn’t come from someone from Marvel’s camp. Instead, this was revealed by The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean. In an interview with Comicbook, the showrunner said that Marvel wasn’t approving any new cameos of Excelsior.
The Stan Lee cameo was going to be in The Simpsons Marvel tribute episode titled “The Good, The Bart, and The Loki.” Jean even said that the team had “Stan Lee audio from when he was on [their] show” previously. But Marvel said that Lee “doesn’t cameo now that he’s passed away.”
But Jean isn’t sad or angry about the fact that he can’t use Stan Lee audio. In fact, Jean says that the franchises they are paying tribute to have a lot of power beyond just their show.
Here’s his full quote:
“We just thought, ‘Oh, we have Stan Lee audio from when he was on our show, could we cameo him in?’ And they said that their policy is he doesn’t cameo now that he’s passed away, which is a completely understandable policy. That was their only note and that was, of course, easily done. And the Grogu note [for the Star Wars-themed short] made total sense, too. It was like, if you let everybody use Grogu in their stuff that wanted to, it would be all over. Believe me, I respect that these franchises have a great power beyond ours. I respect it.”
Previously, Stan Lee made a total of 3 full appearances on The Simpsons over the years. So he hasn’t shied away from showing up in shows or movies that aren’t MCU or Marvel-based properties.
The episode which Al Jean was talking about, titled “The Good, The Bart, and The Loki,” featured actor Tom Hiddleston who portrays Loki in the MCU as the cartoon version of the God of Mischief alongside Simpson characters as Marvel characters.
Now, a Stan Lee cameo would certainly have added that extra fun and wink-at-the-audience in the episode, but the days of Lee’s cameo appearances are at an end after a comics and movie/tv career that spanned about 80 years it seems.
But just because Stan Lee’s physical cameos have stopped, doesn’t mean that MCU has stopped referencing him. For example, in WandaVision there was an easter egg involving Lee’s birthday and in Loki, fans spotted a poster of Stan.
So it looks like Marvel will keep paying their respects to one of the people who was instrumental in the creation of the world they are all part of now. And that’s great to see. After all, even though Stan Lee’s last physical cameo being in Avengers: Endgame was significant and important, but we are glad that he will keep on being part of the marvel universe some way or the other always.