What STAN LEE Really Said (and Didn’t Say) About a Marvel Mega-Movie Crossover

Credit: Hammer Museum

Stan “the man” Lee may not be doing much travel anymore, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t still out there grinding and talking about the things he loves - many of which he happens to have created. In a conversation with the Hammer Museum, Lee and professional geek Kevin Smith sat down with Roy Thomas (fellow former Marvel e-i-c) for a Q&A marking the 75th anniversary of Marvel Comics.

Answering a question about whether all the Marvel characters could appear in a movie together, Lee spoke judiciously, with words that have predictably been interpreted however anyone on the internet wants to take them.

”It's something that Marvel is very concerned about. It's very difficult to bring 'em all together because these characters are so successful and make so much money that the studios that have the rights don't want to let them go. So that's something that all the lawyers and all the production companies have to work out. Whether they get it worked out, I don't know."

Many people are taking that as a “hint” at a “studio crossover” for Marvel Studios’ Avengers, Fox’s X-Men and Fantastic Four, and Sony’s Spider-Man franchises. But let’s see what the statesman actually said. “It’s something that Marvel is very concerned about.” Okay, so Marvel, as a company that owns all of these characters, is concerned about their use in film. To revisit a twenty year-old colloquialism, No Duh. Later, he said more specifically, “"It is a shame that Marvel can't distribute every one of them. Because then we could put them all together ... in a movie that would make a hundred trillion dollars!" That seems as clearly not a hint of any inside knowledge of Studio cross-coordination. In fact, it sounds like just the opposite. But hey, we can dream.

Speaking of elder statesmen being asked about their old properties, Page Six asked George Lucas what he thought of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer, to which he replied simply, “I don’t know anything about it. I haven’t seen it yet.” It’s nothing nefarious though, he just prefers to see movies in movie theaters, and the trailer had only a limited US theater release. Lucas says, “I plan to see it when it’s released.”

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