The outpouring of love and affection for Stan Lee, who passed away at 95 years old almost two weeks ago, is still reverberating around Marvel and Lee's enormous fanbase, including those who worked alongside him during his iconic run of character creation. We've heard countless stories about Lee from stars and writers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and one of the latest comes from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who recently detailed his last meeting with Lee.
Among the emotional farewell was an interesting nugget from Feige, who detailed his last conversation with Lee when he visited him weeks before his death. As Feige describes in his tribute, part of the duo's final chat together included a mention by Lee of Feige's persistent interest in including Lee as an actual star in a future Marvel Studios project.
Of course, Lee is already well-known for his numerous cameos in every Marvel Studios film, through at least Captain Marvel and possibly Avengers 4, but actually taking on a real role in a film would have been a pleasant surprise for fans, to say the least. Here's what Feige had to say about the discussion, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.
"When I sat down by his chair in our last meeting, the very first thing he said was: “I know you want me to star in the next movie, but I have to just stick to the cameos,"" Feige remembered Lee saying. "You’ll have to leave the starring roles to the other actors. I’m sorry.”
Feige goes on to recall how Lee would sometimes jokingly, though also not so jokingly, pepper Feige with requests to get more lines for his trademark cameos, and apparently Feige wanted to take things a step further and bring Lee in as his own character for a future MCU film. It wasn't revealed exactly which film Feige might have wanted Lee to star in, whether it had been for an upcoming blockbuster like Avengers 4 or a project further into the future, like the Black Widow standalone or Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Whatever Feige's plans were, it seems clear that Lee, over 90 years old at the time of this conversation, didn't feel he had it in him to take on a larger role, or perhaps felt like his appearance would take away from whatever story the film was trying to maintain. Nevertheless, seeing more of Lee on the big screen as a part of something he helped create would have been a joy for fans, based on Lee's standing in the comic book world alone.
Feige, in another nod to Lee's fame, also noted: "God forbid he would start to overshadow the hero. That was something a character like Stan Lee could easily do."