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Marvel Licenses Stan Lee's Likeness for Theme Parks, Merch, Maybe Even Movies

The late Marvel comics icon was famous for his MCU cameos.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
Stan Lee, in trademark moustache and sunglasses, grins in front of a portrait of Spider-Man.

Stan Lee was an American comic book writer, editor, publisher, television host, actor, president and chairman of Marvel Comics.

Evan Hurd/Sygma/Corbis via Getty Images

You might be seeing Stan Lee again, thanks to a deal that licenses the late Marvel supremo's likeness for theme parks, merchandise and other Disney entertainments.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel has reached an agreement with a company co-founded by Lee, which now holds the rights to his name, voice, signature and likeness. Before his death in 2018, the ebullient former Marvel comics writer and editor-in-chief made cameos in each Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, and was as well known as the characters he co-created like Spider-Man, the Hulk and Iron Man.

The 20-year deal allows Marvel to use existing images, footage and audio recordings of Lee in Disney theme parks, cruise lines and merchandise, such as action figures, toys and clothes. He could also appear in video games and virtual reality experiences.

But while the deal also covers movies and TV, THR quotes insiders who play down any implication that a digital double of Lee might be used in movies and television. Disney has previously re-created stars after their deaths, using computer-generated digital doubles of Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher in the Star Wars prequel Rogue One

Lee collaborated with artist Jack Kirby to create the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Silver Surfer and the X-Men. With Steve Ditko he created Spider-Man and Doctor Strange

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