"Ghoulish behavior. Do not resurrect the man for further movie appearances as a CGI puppet..."

Never Say Die

Comic books legend Stan Lee died years ago, but now it looks like he could live on — because Marvel is maneuvering to allow his likeness to be used in films, theme parks and more.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed today that a 20-year deal between Marvel, Genius Brands International and POW! Entertainment — the intellectual property company Lee started in 2001 — will allow Marvel to license the name and likeness of Lee. He could be inserted in feature films via CGI, Disney theme parks or various “experiences” and merchandise.

"It really ensures that Stan, through digital technology and archival footage and other forms, will live in the most important venue, the Marvel movies, and Disney theme parks," Andy Heyward, chairman and CEO of Genius Brands told the pub. "It’s a broad deal."

Superhero Reboot

Lee worked with other comic book artists in the 60s to create what would become Marvel Comics. He helped launched the Fantastic Four and created characters including Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Hulk and Thor. But he later left Marvel in the 1990s and died in 2018.

What happens when a brand puts words in a dead guy's mouth? And how come Marvel reversed course? In 2021, the company said the digitally-aged cameo of Lee they inserted into "End Game" would be his last.

And emotionally, it's worth noting that the whole thing feels a little icky. Is it really what Lee would have wanted?

"Ghoulish behavior," one fan wrote on Twitter. "Do not resurrect the man for further movie appearances as a CGI puppet, no matter what his estate is willing to sign off on."

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