Marvel has signed a 20-year deal with Stan Lee Universe, a venture between Genius Brands International and POW! Entertainment, to license the name and likeness of Lee. The deal includes appearances in Marvel movies and TV series along with Disney theme parks, various “experiences” and merchandising.
Lee, who is the co-creator of Spider-Man, Avengers, Hulk and more died in 2018.
“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,” said Andy Heyward, chairman and CEO of Genius Brands. “It’s a broad deal.”
THR points out that this new deal does not necessarily pave the way for the return of Lee cameos in movies, at least not in the way fans traditionally knew them, insiders caution. It is unclear if the public even has an appetite to see Lee digitally resurrected, as actors such as Carrie Fisher or Peter Cushing were in certain Star Wars movies.
The deal does give Marvel permission to use Lee’s name, voice, likeness and signature in movies and television projects, as well as to use images, existing footage and existing audio recordings featuring him. The rights to use Lee’s name, voice, likeness and signature exclusively in theme parks, cruise lines and in-park merchandise were also included in the deal. Audiences and parkgoers could see Lee turn up as figures and toys, and on apparel and stationery.
“The audience revered Stan, and if it’s done with taste and class, and respectful of who he was, [uses of his likeness] will be welcomed,” said Heyward. “He is a beloved personality, and long after you and I are gone, he will remain the essence of Marvel.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter