As the phrase states: “The only things certain in life are death and taxes”. Well, for the past 14 years, you could also count on one other certainty, that Stan Lee would make a cameo appearance in any film based on a Marvel comics property. Starting in 2000 with X-Men, where he played a hot dog vendor and going through the annals of Marvel cinematic history, Lee has appeared in nearly 20 films with varying levels of integration. From a small walk-on role in 2003’s The Hulk, where he and original Hulk actor Lou Ferrigno were security guards for a few seconds to last years Thor: The Dark World, in which Lee plays a mental ward patient, It’s become one of the things Marvel fans look for in every film.
That streak is now coming to an end as Lee (age 91), who is responsible for some of the most famous comic book characters in history, is reportedly not going to be filming a cameo in this summers action team-up Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn. In an interview, Lee said “This is the one group that I didn’t create. I’m not even sure who they all are.” Possibly even more troubling for the film than Lee not making an appearance is that the one-time editor of Marvel comics, and the most recognizable face in the industry, who has spent decades working at Marvel doesn’t even know the characters that the studio’s most risky adaptation is based on.
Guardians of the Galaxy opens this August and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel respectively playing Rocket Raccoon and Groot, a living tree, a pair of CG members of the intergalactic super-hero squad.