At first glance some may assume that Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark) or Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) have appeared in the most Marvel films. In reality, that distinction belongs to comic book legend, Stan Lee. The former President and Chairman of Marvel Comics is known for creating some of the most iconic heroes in comic history. Characters such as Iron Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Thor, and the X-Men, are among Lee’s many literary creations. As such, it has become a tradition that Stan Lee appear in the film adaptations of Marvel’s greatest characters.
To date, Stan Lee has had cameos in over two dozen Marvel related films. This includes an appearance in every single film comprising the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as appearances in films distributed by Sony and Fox. Many of Stan Lee’s cameos are intended for comedic effect, and include stints as a Larry King look alike (Iron Man 2), a beauty pageant judge (Iron Man 3), a superhero denier (The Avengers), and an elderly man hitting on a young woman (Guardians of the Galaxy). It should come as no surprise that Lee is slated to continue making cameos in Marvel films – and now, we know who will be directing him.
Marvel Studios’ head, Kevin Feige, had previously announced that Stan Lee had completed his next four MCU movie cameos, and EW is now reporting that Guardians of the Galaxy’s director, James Gunn, directed each one of them. Speaking with EW after a screening of his film, Doctor Strange, director and co-writer Scott Derrickson stated, “It’s a big deal for a 93-year-old man to go to a movie set and spend a day shooting.” To make things easier for the comic legend, “James shot four cameos with Stan in one day,” explained Derrickson.
The director added that Gunn made sure to check with the Doctor Strange filmmaker to ensure everything fit within the film. “James was texting me the frame. ‘Does this look right? Does this look good?’” In fact, Derrickson did not even meet Lee until the Doctor Strange premiere, but the two did discuss the film beforehand. “I talked to him on the phone, and he grilled me pretty well,” Derrickson said. “By the end of the conversation, he was very happy.”
The next four films in which Stan Lee will appear are: next week’s Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (directed by James Gunn), Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Thor: Ragnarok. It is safe to assume that each cameo will be unique in their own way, as Lee has not yet played the same role twice. In the previous Thor films, Lee appeared as a trucker trying to free Thor’s hammer and then a mental ward patient trying to retrieve his shoe. With James Gunn’s penchant for humor, it is safe to assume that Lee’s next four cameos will again try to elicit, at the very least, a chuckle.