Stan “The Man” Lee left behind a tremendous legacy. Not only did the comic book legend live a long life and co-create many iconic characters before dying at age 95 this week, but those creations, including the superheroes Spider-Man and Black Panther, will surely continue to be a part of our pop culture forever.
One thing about Lee that sadly can’t continue forever, though, is his tradition of appearing in movies and TV series based on Marvel comics. His cameos have been a staple of not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe but also installments of the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, as well as other live-action and animated adaptations, most recently Sony’s Venom.
Fortunately, we haven’t seen the last of him on the big screen just yet. Prior to his death, Lee managed to film or record at least five more parts in movies that are due out in the coming year (X-Men: Dark Phoenix). From the final installments of Phase Four of the MCU to non-Marvel movies you might not expect him to show up in, these are his remaining confirmed or very likely cameos., however, that he won’t be in
Next up for Lee is this Wreck-It Ralph sequel, which follows the title video game character and friends into the expanse of the World Wide Web as they encounter other entities from Disney’s portfolio of intellectual property, including all the Princesses, some Stormtroopers and droids from Star Wars, and various Marvel heroes. Lee can reportedly be found in a scene where he’s accidentally knocked down by one of the movie’s main characters. ( )
How could Lee not have recorded a vocal cameo for the next theatrical release based on his most famous superhero creation? He voiced parts in everything from the new Spider-Man Playstation 4 video game to recent episodes of Spidey cartoons. For Sony’s upcoming animated feature, Lee again appears in cartoon form as a costume shop owner, voicing one line for the part, which you can see in the first half hour of the movie. (via CBR.com)
While Lee did not come up with this movie’s main character, Carol Danvers, he did co-create a version of the superhero Captain Marvel that evolved into the Danvers incarnation. Regardless, it’s an MCU installment and therefore obviously has to have a Lee cameo. There is no confirmation, but hints about Lee’s locked-down cameos point to an appearance in Captain Marvel, and considering this was the rare Marvel movie to shoot in Los Angeles, where Lee resided, he wouldn’t have had to travel far for the opportunity. ()
This follow-up to Avengers: Infinity War has been specifically cited as containing a cameo from Lee by co-director Joe Russo: “So, Stan, typically we try to get him out — he doesn’t love to fly — so we try to get him out for his cameos around the same time,” he earlier this year. “So if we have other movies shooting on the same lot that we’re on, for instance Ant-Man 2 or Avengers 4, we group his cameos together and then move him from one set to the next and kind of get him through his cameos in one day.”
Although that’s not quite a statement of certainty that Lee shot his cameo for the next Avengers movie at the same time as his hilarious bit in Ant-Man and the Wasp, it does sound like that was the case. Regardless, Lee otherwise seems to have been confirmed for the highly anticipated sequel since then, and fans see this as a perfect way for The Man to finish out his run of cameos, with what’s promised to be the conclusion of the MCU as we’ve known it so far.
One cameo that is borderline unlikely is an appearance in Sony’s next MCU collaboration, the follow-up to Spider-Man: Homecoming. The movie wrapped shooting a month ago, but there has been no indication that Lee was able to film a part for the sequel. Fans believe his involvement in a movie based on his most famous superhero would be an appropriate and bittersweet (and tear-inducing) swan song.
There’s also a theory floating around that Far From Home ties into the scene where we first see Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Infinity War, meaning Lee’s final cameo could simply be a reprisal of his school bus driver from this year’s Avengers movie. Perhaps he shot another line to use at the time, but even a repeat of the same footage and performance would be a welcome (and weepy) surprise for the fans.
And as Marvel head Kevin Feige noted this weekwhen teasing future cameo possibilities (most likely specifically for Avengers 4), “I’m not going to tell you what specifically… but Stan always appreciated a good surprise.” What’s more, a Sony rep we spoke to said she couldn’t comment on Lee’s presence — or lack thereof — in Far From Home, so take that as you will.
Lee’s other definite non-Marvel appearance in the bag is this directorial debut from Jason Mewes — aka Jay of “Jay and Silent Bob” fame. Mewes and Lee both appeared in the comedy Mallrats (albeit never together) more than 20 years ago, and the former also credits the latter as being partly responsible for his becoming friends with filmmaker Kevin Smith, who will also appear as himself alongside Mewes in this meta serial killer comedy.
It’s unknown how big Lee’s part is as “Stan” is in Madness in the Method, and there’s still no release date announced for the movie (Lee was part of the shoot last year, and the movie was shown to potential distributors at Cannes in May), but at least we know it’s one of a handful of places we’ll get to see Lee’s face one more time.