This weekend at the Wizard World New York Comic Con Experience, the 90 year old and lively Stan Lee said things. Things about Marvel movies, and now people are saying it is news… again.
For the record, I was there and I didn’t (and don’t) think that this passes for news, because… well… news should be new, and God bless him, but Stan Lee is admittedly not in those meetings anymore. He hasn’t been a creative force at Marvel for quite some time, and this is sorta part of his shtick.
What Stan Lee is, is a mascot for Marvel, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. He’s fan service, and the look on people’s faces when they come away from the microphone at one of these Q&A events is the same look that I’ve seen on a kid’s face as he toddles away from hugging Mickey Mouse at Disney World. The difference is, no one looks to Mickey for an update on Star Wars: Episode VII. Not yet, at least.
Anyway, here’s the deal:
Lee was asked about the possibility of a Planet Hulk film or a Marvel Civil War film (how, with the licenses spread all across the corporate cosmos?) and then he proceeded to say:
“I’m not involved in those decisions anymore, but the people at Marvel are spending hours trying to think ‘what will we do next?’ and there’s a damn good chance that they will think of just what you mentioned, ‘cos it would be a great idea and little by little everything you want to see will come along, because [Marvel] are just like you, they’re fans of the stories and they’re trying to think ‘what would the fans like to see next? What would we like to see next?’ So they’re working on Ant-Man, they’re working on Doctor Strange, they’re working on Guardians of the Galaxy, they’re working on god knows what. And did I say Black Panther also. Those are the ones I know about and there are others that I don’t even know about, and shame on them for not telling me.”
Now, obviously, there have been rumors about Doctor Strange and The Black Panther for quite some time, but if this were an official confirmation that Marvel was “working” on them, that would really be something. This isn’t that. This wasn’t Kevin Feige in Stan Lee cosplay, and oh by the way, Kevin Feige told Collider “Dr. Strange is something that I talk about often and it’s sort of next up for us to dig into and explore.” in May, and that’s a lot more official.
There’s one more wrinkle to this story: remember when I told you that this was a part of Lee’s shtick and that news should be new? Google “Stan Lee Confirms Doctor Strange and Black Panther” and look at how many articles pop up from last year. Just like the story about not digging Diablo or the way that Doctor Doom was portrayed in Fantastic Four (other things he said during the Q&A on Saturday), Stan Lee has “confirmed” Doctor Strange and Black Panther before, most notably in November of 2012, when he said:
“Oh they are all being made into movies! I can tell you there will definitely be a Dr. Strange movie! They are working on Antman, which requires really small cameras! Black Panther is being developed, one of my favorites…the Inhumans…All the hero’s will eventually be made into movies.”
Gosh that sounds familiar.
Source: My eyes and ears, Google, Collider, The SCAD District, H/T to Flickering Myth for the transcription.