Comics legend Stan Lee, who to date has had cameos in 18 live-action films based on Marvel characters, won’t appear in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
Asked in a recent Dweebcast interview whether we can expect to see him in the space adventure, the 91-year-old Lee replied, “No, I’m afraid not, that’s the one group I didn’t create. I didn’t write Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m not even sure who they all are. I can’t wait to see the movie.”
Lee’s big-screen cameos began in 2000 with X-Men, based on the team of mutants he created with Jack Kirby, but he’s not been in every film released since then featuring Marvel characters. As Nerd Bastards points out, Lee didn’t appear in Punisher, Elektra, Punisher: War Zone, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine — all headlined by characters he didn’t have a hand in creating — or X-Men: First Class (in the case of the latter, Lee explained that production was located just too far away).
That said, Lee appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger, despite not co-creating the Sentinel of Liberty (that was Kirby and Joe Simon). He did, however, create the Howling Commandos with Kirby, and the duo revived Captain America in modern times, retconning the character’s history. Lee also wrote Cap for stints in The Avengers and in his own solo title.
But wait! There’s still another twist: As Nerd Bastards notes, Lee is credited with Kirby and Dick Ayers as creator of Groot, who predates the Guardians of the Galaxy by nine years. So Lee does have a legitimate connection to the project.
He can next be seen on the Feb. 4 episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.IE.L.D.
Opening Aug. 1, Guardians of the Galaxy stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Karen Gillan, Lee Pace and Benecio Del Toro.