It was a sad day when the news broke of Stan Lee passing in 2018 at the age of 95 , with many actors and directors involved with Marvel Studios giving their own condolences and praise to the comic creator. Fans themselves were always used to seeing him make cameos in every MCU movie, up until Spider-Man: Far From Home . Even after Stan Lee died in 2018, he had still filmed cameos for both Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame .
However, at one point, due to Stan Lee's age, Marvel Studios had decided to film multiple cameos in 2016 to put less strain on the aging creator. James Gunn was the one to film at least three of Stan Lee's cameos , one being for Doctor Strange , which Gunn described as "...one of MANY versions I shot on the day."
Today, two years since Stan Lee's death, James Gunn has paid tribute to the man with a photo and recalling a funny encounter with the retired comic writer.
On the second anniversary of Stan Lee's death, James Gunn posted a photo he had taken with the legendary comic writer, likely when he had filmed his cameo for Thor: Ragnarok , shown by Stan Lee's eyewear.
One of the great joys of my life was getting to know @TheRealStanLee & working with him on multiple occasions. He was a wonderful guy & a true role model outside of all he gave to the world - & me personally - creatively. It’s hard to believe it’s been 2 years since he’s passed. pic.twitter.com/yD4lumZVaK
One particular encounter James Gunn remembers was when Stan Lee had given praise to Guardians of the Galaxy , despite not having created any of the characters in it. When James Gunn pointed out that he did, in fact, create Groot, Stan Lee replied in shocked surprise, "I did?!"
WHAT THIS MEANS
While it was a little morbid for Marvel Studios to preemptively film multiple Stan Lee cameos at once due to his advanced age, it really would have put less stress on Stan Lee by avoiding unnecessary or extensive travel to film something that will only last less than 20 seconds on film.
As for Stan Lee, having created Groot, that is actually true, in a sense. Stan Lee created the alien alongside Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby in Tales to Astonish #13 in 1960. Originally an anthology book full of monster and science-fiction stories, it introduced Groot, not as a friendly alien accompanied by a talking raccoon, but an evil alien who wanted to kidnap and experiment on humans.