Marvel Please Don’t Digitally Resurrect Stan Lee

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In September 2017 14 months before his death, it became known that Stan Lee pre-recorded cameos in no less than five upcoming Marvel Studios films when Lee’s personal manager blabbed during a speech at the congress. At the time, the news raised concerns that Lee, who was 94 at the time, was being exploited by others and treated more like a brand or fictional character than a real person.

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Perhaps everyone should have taken this as a sign of things to come.

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News broke last week that Marvel signed a contract for 20 years with Stan Lee Entertainment, which controls the name and appearance of the comic book writer who died in 2018, in order to use his name, voice, likeness and iconic signature in a wide range of applications, including but not limited to films and television. shows, theme parks, merchandise, and unspecified “experiences”. Andy Hayward, CEO of Genius Brands – one of the two companies behind Stan Lee Entertainment – said the deal “really ensures that Stan, through digital technology, archival footage and other forms, will live in the most important place – Marvel films and Disney theme parks.

Let’s get this straight: over the course of his life, Stan Lee was completely involved in transforming himself from a person into a brand. This goes back to Marvel’s earliest days, long before he was cast in cameo roles in seemingly every movie, even superhero comics, when he portrayed himself and other Marvel freelancers and employees in witty cartoons like editorials. articles and comics; when he retired from directly writing or editing comics in the mid-1970s, a company-wide executive order was issued requiring each issue to begin with a logo with a version of his signature that read, “Stan Lee Presents.” After a career that has included co-creating Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, the Avengers, the X-Men, and even Willie Lumpkin and Hedy Wolfe, Stan Lee’s greatest work has almost certainly been Stan Lee.

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Still, there’s something surprisingly revolting about the idea of ​​Lee being trapped in the afterlife selling Marvel products for at least the next two decades, despite the obvious jokes about how he spent his time on Earth. Lee’s resurrection is different from the digital recreations of actors like Peter Cushing or Carrie Fisher in Disney films. star Wars movies or Posthumous holograms of dead rappers appeared at the Coachella festival. Each of these cases, however macabre and unnecessary, was a celebration and recreation of their subjects’ work, using literal pieces of said work to create digital performances.

Instead, it’s just a continuation of Lee’s years of transformation into nothing more than a corporate puppet, trading in fan nostalgia and past goodwill to convince viewers that what they’re watching on screen has the stamp of approval of the original generation of the self-proclaimed House of Ideas, except that now with even less influence or input than Lee could have offered when he was alive.

Lee’s death at the end of 2018 was sad, yes, especially for those who really knew the comic book maestro personally – but it ended a difficult, tragic period in his life. In my last years, Lee’s elder abuse allegations began to spread even as his public profile became perhaps larger than ever before. Many Marvel stans (pun intended) who were genuinely thrilled to see him on the big screen in every subsequent installment of the MCU did not recognize the real Stan Lee, but instead saw a character as fictional as any other citizen of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Stan Lee who will “live” in Marvel movies and Disney theme parks has never been truly alive. The real Stan Lee deserves more than just being a programmable mascot ready to advertise whatever the brand demands.


Credit: www.wired.com /

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