The pop culture world suffered some devastating news this week with the passing of Marvel legend Stan Lee. The comic book icon will of course be a huge miss, not least to fans who’ve enjoyed his many cameos across Marvel’s film and television adaptations.
In the wake of his passing, it was confirmed by Marvel studios that Lee had already shot several cameos for future Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, including Captain Marvel and Avengers 4, but now comes word that he’ll be absent from next year’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
Although he’s been an ever-present in the MCU, Lee had only featured in three of the previous X-Men films (not including his two Deadpool appearances) and Entertainment Weekly believes that a cameo in X-Men: Dark Phoenix was never intended, given that Fox and director Simon Kinberg are hoping to deliver a more grounded and gritty take on the franchise.
It has however been confirmed that Lee had completed a voice cameo for December’s animated Sony offering Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, with producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller speaking to CinemaBlend about their experience working with Stan on the film:
“When we came in, we thought we were going to pitch him ideas, but he ended up pitching us no less than seven ideas in a 45-minute meeting. That’s just the kind of guy he was — an idea machine. He seemed to be a man to whom creation was as automatic as breathing. We were lucky to have him adorn our movie with his voice.”
Along with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Lee also has a cameo in Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet, although as director Rich Moore revealed to The Wrap, he sadly passed away before he got a chance to see it.
In Dark Phoenix, the X-Men face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite — not only to save Jean’s soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix sees Simon Kinberg directing a cast that includes franchise veterans Michael Fassbender (Magneto), James McAvoy (Professor X), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler), Evan Peters (Quicksilver) and Olivia Munn (Psylocke) alongside new additions Kota Eberhardt (The Persian Connection) as Selene, Andrew Stehlin (Hacksaw Ridge) as Red Lotus, and Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game) and Lamar Johnson (Kings). It is set for release on June 7th 2019.