Marvel Studios and Stan Lee Universe have entered into a 20-year agreement licensing the name and likeness of Stan Lee. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the deal between Marvel Studios and a venture between Genius Brands International and POW! Entertainment will allow the studio to use Lee’s name and likeness in upcoming feature films and television productions.
According to the press release, Marvel Studios has acquired rights to use Lee’s name, voice, likeness and signature in movies and television projects and also images, existing footage and existing audio recordings featuring him.
Lee was the co-creator of Marvel characters Spider-Man, Avengers and Hulk, who died in 2018 at the age of 95. The Hollywood Reporter noted that he was the writer and editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics in the 1960s. He found himself back in pop culture in the 21st century through his funny cameos in Fox’s X-Men and Sony’s Spider-Man franchises and, subsequently, in the several Marvel Cinematic Universe films. The Verge reported that Lee filed a $1-billion lawsuit against POW! Entertainment, a production house co-founded in 2001, for allegedly forging his signature on legal documents, but later dropped the claim.
“There is no better place than Marvel and Disney where Stan should be for his movies and theme park experiences,” Chairman and CEO of Genius Brands Andy Heyward said, thrilled to see Lee’s legacy in the centennial year of his birthday, through the long-term agreement with Marvel.
“It ensures that Stan, through digital technology and archival footage and other forms, will live in the most important venues, the Marvel movies and Disney theme parks. It’s a broad deal,” Heyward said, according to a PTI report.
The Hollywood Reporter, said the deal does not necessarily spell out the return of Lee cameos in movies, at least not in the way fans traditionally knew them. Lee’s last cameos were for Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame, a PTI report said.