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How ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ Paid Tribute to Stan Lee

The comic-book icon makes a cameo in the animated Marvel movie.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Sony Pictures Animation

[Editor’s note: The following article contains spoilers for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”]

The passing of Stan Lee last month also meant the end of the comic-book icon’s famous cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is the first movie based on one of Lee’s creations to be released since his death at the age of 95, and though not technically part of the MCU, it does indeed feature a scene with him.

In it, Lee plays the owner of a costume shop who sells Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) his first Spider-Man suit. The burgeoning superhero isn’t sure it will fit, but Lee’s character winks before assuring him, “It always fits eventually” and pointing at a no-refunds sign.

“We always wanted to honor his legacy and Steve Ditko’s legacy as the godparents of this character,” “Spider-Verse” producer Chris Miller told Entertainment Weekly. “The movie itself was supposed to feel like an extension of what they were doing in the ’60s, when they made an ordinary nerdy teenager from a lower-middle-class family in Queens a superhero, who wasn’t a god or an alien or a billionaire. That felt very welcoming and inclusive, and that message resonated with us as kids, like, ‘It could be me.’ And we were just trying to pass that on.”

“In the beginning, we wanted to give him a real place in the movie and not just a moment — something that was exciting and could honor his legacy and also be funny at the same time,” said Miller. “Obviously it took on a whole added poignancy after his passing, but the spirit of it remains exactly the same.”

The next MCU movie scheduled for release is “Captain Marvel,” which arrives in theaters next March. Filming concluded in July, months before Lee’s death, making at least one more cameo likely.

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