This is a piece of news you might view as either exciting or downright disturbing. According to Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Studios has struck up a new deal with Stan Lee Universe to use the legendary comic book writer in future films, televisions, and even Disney theme parks.
The deal would ensure that Lee’s name and likeness would be a part of Disney’s various experiences and merchandising for the next 20 years. Speaking on the occasion, Andy Heyward, the CEO of Genius Brands, the company that handles Lee’s estate, said, “It’s a broad deal. It really ensures that Stan, through digital technology and archival footage and other forms, will live in the most important venue, the Marvel movies, and Disney theme parks.”
Further adding, “The audience revered Stan, and if it’s done with taste and class, and respectful of who he was, [uses of his likeness] will be welcomed,” said Heyward. “He is a beloved personality, and long after you and I are gone, he will remain the essence of Marvel.”
Stan Lee’s name has been synonymous with Marvel Comics since the ’60s when he served as a writer and editor-in-chief. He is credited with the creation of some of the most popular superheroes you see on screen today including Iron Man, Spiderman, Doctor Strange, The Hulk and the likes.
Lee rose to popularity after featuring in a series of cameos, including brief appearances in Fox’s X-Men and Sony’s Spider-Man franchises. The tradition continued with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where the legend continue to appear in every comic book adaption of the movie until his death in 2018.
Technically though, the deal does allow Marvel to use Stan Lee’s name, voice, likeness and existing footage to be used in television or movie projects.
Although the exact specifics on how Marvel intends to use this remains to be seen. Would this entail a Carrie Fisher or Peter Cushing deepfake appearance as seen in Star War movies, or simply the use of his name in merchandising?
(Image credits: Marvel Studios, Marvel Comics)