“Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created, said Bob Iger on this holiday Monday. “A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain, and to connect,” added Iger, who instigated the in hindsight very lucrative purchase of Marvel in 2009 for $4 billion. “The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart.
Starting with the Robert Downey starring Iron Man in 2008, Marvel has become one of the dominant forces in Hollywood with more and more heroes like this year’s acclaimed Black Panther flying on to the big screen and big box offices sequels galore for the Armored Avenger, Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man and of course the actual Avengers themselves. After a worldwide box office of nearly $18 billon and Captain Marvel poised to be released next spring, Disney’s big bucks acquisition of Fox’s film properties this year, sees the previously pre-Disney licensed X-Men plus Spidey himself and more look to swing over the cinematic rooftops anew in the not too distant future.
Sadly, those future projects will not include the cameos by Lee that fans had come to expect and love.
The man leading those next stages of Marvel’s growth wore his heart on his sleeve in a statement after Lee’s death at 95-years old today.
“No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee,” said Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige. “Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all,” the producer and big screen Marvel mastermind added. “Our thoughts are with his daughter, his family, and the millions of fans who have been forever touched by Stan’s genius, charisma and heart. Excelsior!”