In what may be a good idea or a disturbingly bad one, Marvel has licensed the likeness of Stan Lee for appearances in future films.
Over the years, there’s been no better joy in watching a Marvel movie than spotting the Stan Lee cameo. You never know when it’s going to pop up. And sometimes, his cameo dispenses a piece of wisdom onto the superhero. Other times, it’s a cameo that pokes fun. Remember his FedEx delivery for Tony Stank? These cameos also ended with his passing. A few cameos were in the can for remaining films after his death. But after his passing, it would just be wrong to have any CGI cameos on the screen.
The new report comes by way of The Hollywood Reporter.
Marvel has signed a 20-year deal with Stan Lee Universe, a venture between Genius Brands International and POW! Entertainment, to license the name and likeness of Lee for use in future feature films and television productions, as well as Disney theme parks, various “experiences” and merchandizing.
This deal can only work is if Stan Lee’s likeness is only used in photos. Maybe previous recordings but not much else on screen. None of this nonsense where they bring him back by way of CGI. Trust me! If you want to piss off the fan base, that’s the way to do it. It’s one thing to bring back Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One but that can only go so far. It was even trickier bringing back Carrie Fisher for her role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Least we forget all the criticism that has come with de-aging Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker for appearances in both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. Marvel needs to make smart decisions here. Tread carefully, please.
The deal does give Marvel permission to use Lee’s name, voice, likeness and signature in movies and television projects, as well as to use images, existing footage and existing audio recordings featuring him. The rights to use Lee’s name, voice, likeness and signature exclusively in theme parks, cruise lines and in-park merchandise were also included the deal. Audiences and parkgoers could see Lee turn up as figures and toys, on apparel and stationery, in video games and VR.
If Marvel is smart, they will tread very carefully in how they decide to use the likeness of Stan Lee.
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