Marvel Acquires Stan Lee’s Likeness To Revive Him In Its Universe
By Mikelle Leow, 19 May 2022
Photo 79140837 © Starstock | Dreamstime.com
It’s no Soul Stone, but Marvel Studios has moved to obtain the rights to the name and likeness of former Marvel Comics president Stan Lee, who passed away in 2018, for a wide range of applications in the next 20 years. The deal was signed with Stan Lee Universe, a joint venture between Genius Brands International and POW! Entertainment, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The two-decade license will allow Marvel to use Lee’s name, image, voice, and signature across feature films, television shows, Disney theme parks, cruise lines, and merchandise, including toys, figures, apparel, and stationery. Executives will be able to keep Lee’s memory alive by tapping into digital technology and footage.
However, the line is drawn at bringing Lee back into video games and virtual reality, the report stresses.
Lee was central to the creation of beloved comic book franchises like Spider-Man and the Avengers. Marvel Studios would frequently bring him in to cameo in blockbusters to acknowledge its creative muse.
Importantly, obtaining Lee’s likeness won’t automatically mean that Lee will return posthumously in upcoming films. Producers acknowledge that there’s a sensitivity in resuscitating deceased persons through CGI and the like, and they say that they may not necessarily go down this route.
Andy Heyward, chairman and CEO of Genius Brands, tells the Hollywood Reporter that, if Marvel’s attempts to preserve Lee’s legacy are executed tastefully and carefully, they should be welcomed with open arms by arms.
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