As co-creator of Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men and countless other Marvel characters along with being onetime editor in chief and public face of the company, Stan Lee has lived a fairly remarkable life. But the latest development in the legendary comics scribe’s story is so unusual it’s questionable whether even Stan “The Man” himself could have ever conceived it.
As far as biopics are concerned the idea of centering one on a figure as readily recognizable as Lee makes a lot of sense. The fact that comic book and superhero films are such an incredibly hot property in Hollywood right now adds more fuel to the fire since Lee was instrumental in bringing so many of these characters to life. Additionally, Lee has maintained a high profile by making memorable (and not so memorable) cameo appearances in movies based on Marvel properties. But to blend the two and turn Lee’s life into a story the likes of which he may have once written is another thing altogether.
As unbelievable as it may be, THR reports that Fox will produce a heavily fictionalized account of Lee’s early life that will aim to do just that.
While Fox has acquired Lee’s “life rights” in the fashion that one normally does with the intent to produce a biographical drama based on a celebrity or historical figure’s actual life, the stated plan for this particular project (from Power Rangers producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey) is something much different: A period action-adventure feature that will imagine Lee as leading a secret heroic life of his own behind the scenes of his more well known work.
Having been purchased as a pitch rather than as a full screenplay, no larger details are yet known about the project, which is now on the hunt for writers. It’s unclear whether the idea will be for Lee to be a full-fledged superhero himself or engage in some other type of heroic profession; though the report cites Kingsman: The Secret Service and the Roger Moore-era James Bond movies as reference points, so it seems likely that the film will aim for more of a secret agent angle.
Much of the reporting on the (still-breaking) news of the project has described the film’s setting as the 1970s, which would place the action during Lee’s transition from regular writer to editor and public-pitchman for Marvel Comics. If so, it will be interesting to see how the film plans to deal with the more controversial aspects of Lee’s tenure during this period, which saw increased scrutiny being placed on his earlier work when it came to crediting (or not crediting) co-creators like Kirby and Steve Ditko — though, obviously, a movie about Lee being a secret spy is unlikely to touch seriously on such material.
Screen Rant will keep you up to date on all the developments surrounding the Stan Lee action-adventure film.