Nearly four years after he passed away at the age of 95, beloved Marvel icon Stan Lee is officially making his way back to Marvel Studios. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the blockbuster studio has acquired the licensing rights to use Lee’s name, likeness, voice and signature in future Marvel Cinematic Universe projects through a 20-year-deal with Stan Lee Universe.
“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,” Chairman and CEO of Genius Brands Andy Heyward said in a statement. “It’s a broad deal. The audience revered Stan and if it’s done with taste and class, and respectful of who he was, it will be welcomed. He is a beloved personality and long after you and I are gone, he will remain the essence of Marvel.”
RELATED: She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Trailer & Poster Released for Disney+ Series
Aside from potential appearances in movies and TV projects, the deal also allows Marvel to feature the late comic book artist in Disney theme parks, experiences, and merchandising. The studio can also access images, existing videos, and audio recordings featuring Lee.
Lee is best known as the co-creator of most of the major characters at the genesis of the Marvel Universe. This includes the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Doctor Strange, and more. Even after his death, his name still remains synonymous with Marvel. He became more recognizable to the younger generation due to his hilarious and fan-favorite cameos in Marvel movies. For the past three decades, he had appeared in 37 films, with the final one being 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
RELATED: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Review: A Stellar MCU Entry
The Stan Lee Universe is a joint venture between Gill Champion, Arthur Lieberman, Genius Brands International, and POW! Entertainment. The latter is the company co-founded by Lee.