Marvel has drawn backlash from fans after announcing it had signed a deal with Stan Lee Universe that would allow the studio to use its “name and likeness” in future releases.
The 20-year deal could mean Lee – the beloved co-creator of Spider-Man, Avengers and Hulk, who died in November 2018 – could star in upcoming films and TV shows.
Lee’s likeness and name can now also be used in Disney theme parks and various “experiences” and merch. The deal is a venture between Genius Brands International and POW! Entertainment.
News of the deal has drawn criticism from Marvel fans, who have accused the company of “exploiting a dead person’s image.”
“As a fan, I loved and miss all of Stan Lee’s cameos, but stop exploiting him beyond the grave and just let the man rest in peace,” said one fan.
The former author and editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics cameos in superhero films made famous in the 1960s. Among them were his roles as a juror in the 1989s The Trial of the Incredible Hulkand as a bus driver in 2018 Avengers: Infinity War.
“The way Marvel is milking Stan Lee’s legacy is sad,” one person wrote.
Another added, “They will never stop selling his name and it’s disgusting,” while another wrote, “Stan Lee isn’t a person anymore. He’s a Marvel character now who will say and do as Disney commands.”
“Not a single viewer in the world is going to see CGI Stan Lee in future Marvel movies and think he’s cool. Let the man rest in peace,” said another.
Andy Heyward, Genius Brands chairman and CEO, said the deal “ensures Stan will live through digital technology and archival footage and other forms in key locations, the Marvel films and Disney theme parks.”
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“The audience adored Stan, and if it was done with taste and class and was respectful of who he was, [uses of his likeness] welcome,” said Heyward. “He’s a beloved personality, and long after you and I are gone, he will remain the essence of Marvel.”
The Independent has reached out to a Marvel representative for comment.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/marvel-stan-lee-deal-fans-backlash-b2082557.html Fans are accusing Marvel of “exploiting a dead man” after the studio signed a deal to use Stan Lee’s likeness in future films