Marvel Studios Seals Stan Lee Universe Deal For 20 Years

In a rather unique arrangement, Marvel Studios has acquired rights to use Stan Lee’s name, voice, likeness and signature in MCU for 20 years.

The deal closed for 20 years include appearances of Stan Lee’s likeness in Marvel movies, TV series, as well as apparel and theme parks.

The Hollywood Reporter has the exclusive news of the new contract between Genius Brands International and POW! Entertainment

The contract includes use of 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. POW! Entertainment permits Genius Brands International to use Lee’s name, voice, likeness and signature exclusively in theme parks, cruise lines and in-park merchandise were also included in the deal.

Marvel Studios Seals Stan Lee Universe Deal For 20 Years

Marvel Studios Seals Stan Lee Universe Deal For 20 Years

Image: Warner Bros. Animation

Because of this deal, audiences and parkgoers may be able to see Stan Lee turn up as figures and toys, and on apparel and stationery.

Stan Lee has been a cornerstone for Marvel. His cameo scenes on every Marvel movie is always a treat for fans. There has been quite a collection of scenes like this and avid moviegoers have even their favorites. Up until the last few movies, Stan Lee was even implied to be a Watcher of all MCU movies.

His contribution to the Marvel history is incomparable. Stan Lee together with artists such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko have touched generations of comic book fans and inspired many artists, writers and film makers to follow their dreams. A lot of these people felt the loss of an icon upon Stan Lee’s passing. Fans even missed his cameos in the recent movies. Some say he would have loved to see all three Spider-Men swing around the Statue of Liberty or even make a side comment about Doctor Strange splitting a bus in the middle of the street. Truth be told he would have been ecstatic.

Marvel Studios Seals Stan Lee Universe Deal For 20 Years

Marvel Studios Seals Stan Lee Universe Deal For 20 Years

Image: Hot Toys

Stan Lee created heroes and villains alike. In his words, he says to The Associated Press in a 2006 interview:

I think everybody loves things that are bigger than life. … I think of them as fairy tales for grown-ups. We all grew up with giants and ogres and witches. Well, you get a little bit older and you’re too old to read fairy tales. But I don’t think you ever outgrow your love for those kind of things, things that are bigger than life and magical and very imaginative.

Stan Lee’s Heroes:

  • Ant-Man
  • Ancient One
  • Avengers
  • Beast
  • Black Panther
  • Black Widow
  • Captain Marvel
  • Cyclops
  • Daredevil
  • Doctor Strange
  • Fantastic Four
  • Groot
  • Hawkeye
  • Hulk
  • Human Torch
  • Iceman
  • Invisible Woman
  • Iron Man
  • Jean Grey
  • Mister Fantastic
  • Nick Fury
  • Professor X
  • Quicksilver
  • Scarlet Witch
  • Spider-Man
  • Thing
  • Thor
  • Wasp
  • X-Men

Stan Lee’s Villains

  • Doctor Doom
  • Doctor Octopus
  • Green Goblin
  • Kaecilius
  • Kingpin
  • Loki
  • Magneto
  • Sandman
  • Vulture
  • Whiplash

Marvel Studios Seals Stan Lee Universe Deal For 20 Years

Marvel Studios Seals Stan Lee Universe Deal For 20 Years

Image: Marvel Studios

With the intention of keeping Stan Lee as a brand inside Marvel, it’s understandable in a marketing sense. It could also be a way of keeping Lee acknowledged as a foundation for the Marvel Comics and Cinematic Universe. A tribute to Spidey’s, and all the characters listed above, existential father.

Although the deal implies permission to use Stan Lee’s likeness to movies and television, it poses the question whether future MCU movies will again have cameos of Lee. This may put a bit of concern to fans and how his likeness may be used on film. There are different ways people accept the passing of a well-respected icon. The least any respectful fan wants is to turn Stan Lee’s image into a marketing gimmick or mascot. They further clarify that Stan Lee’s likeness will not be used in virtual reality and video games.

Andy Heyward, Chairman and CEO of Genius Brands explains:

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. It’s a broad deal. …there needed to be a steward of his legacy.
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. He is a beloved personality, and long after you and I are gone, he will remain the essence of Marvel.

We do appreciate the effort and intention of preservation of Stan Lee’s image as inseparable from Marvel history. Stan Lee deserves the tribute for being the inspiration that he was and still is.



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