Much like waiting for Alfred Hitchcock to show up and in one of his own movies, anticipating where and when Stan Lee might pop up in a Marvel movie has long been one of the joys of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But since the pop culture giant’s passing in 2018, the use of his image has become a much more contentious thing. While Lee’s posthumous appearance in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame officially marked his final cameo, The Wrap notes that Al Jean, The Simpsons’ longtime showrunner, wanted to resurrect this tradition for “The Good, The Bart, And The Loki,” the animated comedy’s recent Loki crossover short, but was denied permission by Marvel.
After Jean and his team discovered some unused audio files of Lee, they discussed the idea of paying tribute to the Marvel icon in the most Stan Lee way possible: with a cameo.
“We just thought, ‘Oh, we have Stan Lee audio from when he was on our show, could we cameo him in?,” Jean explained to ComicBook.com. “And they said that their policy is he doesn’t cameo now that he’s passed away, which is a completely understandable policy. That was their only note and that was, of course, easily done.”
Jean went on to explain that they faced a similar scenario when they recently made a Star Wars-themed short, but were instructed that they could not feature Grogu, a.k.a. Baby Yoda, in it. “It was like, if you let everybody use Grogu in their stuff that wanted to, it would be all over,” Jean said. “Believe me, I respect that these franchises have a great power beyond ours. I respect it.”
(Via The Wrap)