Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has opened up on his final meeting with Stan Lee, revealing that the comics icon was full of enthusiasm for the future of Marvel.
Lee, who is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in comic book history, died earlier this month at the age of 95.
In a new interview with EntertainmentWeekly, Feige recalled how he visited the Spider-Man creator at his home, only two weeks before his death.
“I went to his house to see him, and he reminisced about the cameos. We were talking about what was coming up, always looking to the future,” Feige recalled.
“Did he know that his time was running out? I don’t know. In hindsight, he was slightly more wistful than I’d seen him before. He talked about the past more than I had ever heard him talk about the past. So maybe on some level, he knew.”
Describing Lee’s enduring wit, Feige said: “When I sat down by his chair in our last meeting, the very first thing he said was: ‘I know you want me to star in the next movie, but I have to just stick to the cameos. You’ll have to leave the starring roles to the other actors. I’m sorry’.”
“God forbid he would start to overshadow the hero. That was something a character like Stan Lee could easily do”.
He also praised Lee for creating Black Panther with Jack Kirby at the height of the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s America.
“What director Ryan Coogler was able to do with Black Panther would not exist if not for Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby taking a quote-unquote ‘risk’ bringing in an African — not even African-American, an African — character to their stories who was smarter and wealthier and more technologically advanced than any other hero,” Feige said.
“This was at the height of the civil rights movement, and that’s astounding to me. He really had a good heart.”
Meanwhile, the six original Avengers took out a full page advert in The Hollywood Reporter after Lee’s death, hailing his “amazing legacy”.