Amongst a host of other outstanding qualities, Marvel Studios is known as one of the best in the game when it comes to major cameos in their projects, whether it's actors or characters. Phase 4 is already continuing this trend with stars like Julia Louis-Dreyfus in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and with so many new entries on the way, this will only keep up over the coming years.
One man that fans have missed in recent projects is the late Stan Lee, Marvel's former creative leader who passed away at age 95 in 2018. Lee made appearances in the first 22 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, showing up in most of Fox and Sony's Marvel movies as well, always giving fans a fun Easter egg to look for in Marvel's big-screen endeavors.
Although fans continue to look for Lee's presence in projects after his passing, it appears that his time on screen may have come to an end.
STAN LEE CAMEOS...NO MORE
The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean revealed to Comicbook that Marvel Studios wouldn't allow a new cameo from the late Stan Lee in the Marvel tribute episode entitled "The Good, The Bart, and The Loki."
Jean noted how the team had "Stan Lee audio from when he was on [their] show" from past episodes, but Marvel made their policy clear and said Lee "doesn't cameo now that he's passed away." He made it clear that he and his team "respect that these franchises have a great power beyond [theirs]" in terms of storytelling:
"We just thought, 'Oh, we have Stan Lee audio from when he was on our show, could we cameo him in?’ 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. And the Grogu note [for the Star Wars-themed short] made total sense, too. It was like, if you let everybody use Grogu in their stuff that wanted to, it would be all over. Believe me, I respect that these franchises have a great power beyond ours. I respect it."
LEE RESTING PEACEFULLY
Stan Lee made three full appearances on The Simpsons over the years, never one to shy away from a cameo in shows that exist far outside the MCU or any Marvel-based properties.
This particular episode of The Simpsons featured Tom Hiddleston as a cartoon version of the God of Mischief alongside classic characters from Springfield as Marvel characters. Even though Jean and his team would have loved to use Stan Lee's past recordings somehow, his days of making cameo appearances seem to be at an end after a career that lasted nearly 80 years.
Although WandaVision included an Easter egg with Lee's birthday, he hasn't made a cameo appearance since 2019's Avengers: Endgame. Thankfully, it appears that Marvel is always looking for ways to pay their respects to one of the company's pioneers, regardless if he appears on screen again or not.