‘The Avengers’: Stan Lee’s ‘Funny’ Cameos, Clark Gregg Says Film ‘Delivers’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 25th, 2013 at 9:13 am,

Joss Whedon’s The Avengers is a “first” for Marvel movies in more than one way.  For example, it’s the first major motion picture to feature so many significant superheroes. It’s also Marvel’s longest film, clocking in at two hours and fifteen minutes.

But that doesn’t mean it won’t include all the hallmarks of the previous Marvel superhero films, like the obligatory Stan Lee cameo and another (scene stealing?) turn by Clark Gregg as fan-favorite Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Recently, Stan Lee discussed his forthcoming cameos in The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Iron Man 3, while Clark Gregg talked about his reaction to seeing The Avengers for the very first time.

Here’s Stan Lee talking about his upcoming cameos, courtesy  of Collider:

“’The Avengers’ cameo that you will see, when that movie opens up, is possibly one of my best. And you know how good mine have been, but [‘The Avengers] cameo] is so funny. I can’t tell you what it is because they’d kill me, but it’s funny. So is the ‘[Amazing] Spider-Man’ one, by the way. They’re deciding to make my cameos a little funnier. They know that’s what brings the audiences in, of course, so they’ve gotta play them up.”

In regards to a cameo in Iron Man 3, Lee said:

“I haven’t done that cameo yet. It’s almost scary because they just give me a date. They’ll say, ‘Stan, come over next Thursday for your cameo,’ but they don’t tell me what it is. So, I show up and they say, ‘Go to wardrobe.’ In wardrobe, they say, ‘We want to get you a white shirt and a green sweater and a black zippered jacket,’ and I’ll say, ‘Don’t bother, I’m wearing one.’ And then, they say, ‘But, you can’t wear yours!,’ and they look around and get me the exact same thing, but I’m not allowed to wear my own. And I still don’t know what my role will be. I go on the set and one minute before we’re gonna shoot, the director says, ‘Okay, Stan, this is what I want you to do.’ So, I don’t know what is expected of me, until I get there, but of course, I do it magnificently.”

Honestly – and I’m probably in the minority here – but I’ve gotten to the point where I find these Stan Lee cameos to be more trouble than they’re worth. Sure, it was vaguely funny at first, but now every time he shows up, I’m just ripped straight out of the film. How many ways can one man make a cameo in these superhero films?

Obviously, the cameos aren’t intrusive or annoying enough to irrevocably alter the quality of the films, but the point still stands.

Clark Gregg and Thor in The Avengers The Avengers: Stan Lees Funny Cameos, Clark Gregg Says Film Delivers

Meanwhile, actor Clark Gregg – who has co-starred in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, and the upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man TV – has seen The Avengers. He shared his impressions of the film with Collider, saying:

“I’m very excited for people to see this movie. I think the fans, like me, will be as excited as I was, when I saw it. From the minute I read Joss Whedon’s script, I thought, ‘Oh, man, this is going to be fun to do!’ The hardest thing to get right is to figure out how to bring all those characters together, and to fulfill the promise of The Avengers. They really set a very high bar for themselves because you’ve been setting this coalition up, for these five movies, and they better deliver. And in my opinion, they thoroughly deliver.”

It goes without saying that Gregg is a paid representative of Marvel and The Avengers, so the film could be terrible and he’s still not likely to badmouth it. Having said that, it’s worth noting how obviously enthusiastic the guy is with regard to the material. This man seems to genuinely care about these properties, about his role as Agent Coulson, and about the effect all of it has had on the fans — both children and adults alike — and his career.

What’re your thoughts on Stan Lee’s cameos, Screen Ranters? About Clark Gregg’s impressions of The Avengers? Let us know in the comments.

The Avengers hits theaters May 4th, 2012.


Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: Collider (1, 2)

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  1. I can see where the cameos have become a distraction. Sometimes i will watch a movie in theaters and forget what happened afterword because i was to busy looking for the cameo. i think i did that in Thor. and totally missed the beginning.

    But usually I forget about the stan lee cameo until i watch it the second or third time n think hey thats stan lee!!

  2. I also sometimes find that the Stan Lee cameo pulls me out of the movie, but they are also something that I look forward to with each new Marvel movie.

    • I like the cameos their not bad..

      • I agree, but if he had a large role (JJ Jameson in Sam Raimis Spiderman for example) it would take away the glamour from the movie

        BTW, I also heard that Stan Lee was being considered for JJJ…

  3. No more Stan Lee… It’s too over the top for me. He’s like a vagabond he moves from city to city just like Bruce Banner.

  4. I’m too busy looking at Thor to bother with a cameo.

    Whether or not Gregg is a paid rep he sounds excited and interested. I wouldn’t base my own interest in what he says but its encouraging when those working on the movies get into it. Plus I do love me some Joss Whedon writing. Everyone who has sex is miserable, everyone who is happy will become miserable and happy endings will be damned to hell and back. Its lovely.

  5. I think this much to do about nothing, Stan is the man and he deserve these cameos. If showing him for a brief moment gonna mess up your viewing for the film why bother going in the first place?

    • Well said,Agent O.

    • I think I have to agree with this.

      • +1

  6. I wish I was the dungeonmaster for a D & D game with Stan Lee, George A. Romero and J.R.R. Tolkien (if he were alive).

    Stan would be a dwarven fighter, George would be a necromancer/wizard and Tolkien, a hobbit thief.

  7. I adore Stan (the Man) Lee’s cameos. They have never distracted me from the movie. I don’t feel like I need to look for him. I’ll know him when I see him.

    The only one I didn’t care for was Fantastic Four 2 where he played himself. That was… odd.

    • agreed raven 415. never distracted me bc, imo, he’s pretty easy to spot, especially now since they have him saying stuff. to everyone else, just look for an old man with glasses who will deliver one line. i dont know how it can be such a distraction to others though (its not stan lee the movie).

      • Apparantly Stan won’t be wearing his glasses for his Avengers cameo.

        • yeah he will. I saw him in New York during the filming.

    • The FF2 cameo was a direct reference to Reed and Sue’s original wedding in the comics, where they had a running gag with security reporting two guys trying to weasel their way into the ceremony; at the end of the issue, the two turned out to be Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

  8. stan lee cameos are a must! why are people hatin’? haha

    in my opinion, the captain america one was the worst…it was just kinda jammed into the montage…

    best one was when he played hugh hefner, that was pretty funny.

  9. The Stan Lee cameos never bother me nor distract me from the rest of the films. The Cameos are that short imo, i don’t look forward to them or anything because i already know theres bound to be one. Stan takes great pride with these comic book characters & a small cameo isn’t much to fuss about. My favorite Stan Lee cameo was in Thor. “Did it work?” Lol.

  10. Cant believe he’s 89!! Hope he doesn’t die soon. @_@’

  11. what kind of ADD monkey must you be if a Stan Lee cameo takes you out of the movie?

  12. Ah Stan, ever so humble… ;)
    For the most part, I like his cameos (his cameo in THOR was probably my favorite one – it was not only funny, but it also served as part of the story, showing that Thor’s hammer is immovable), but I do feel that it’s kinda been taken out of proportion now. I’m mainly talking about his Cap cameo: He was just there for the sake of being there. It wasn’t funny, it didn’t add anything to the movie’s experience and it’s not even like he was the creator of Cap…
    That said, I’m a huge fan of Stan Lee. He’s my hero and I don’t want him to stop making his cameos (I just don’t see the need for him to be in every single movie). I’m really looking forward to his Spidey cameo, and his Avengers cameo. I’m also excited to hear that he’ll most likely be making an appearance in Iron Man 3 as well.

    As for Clark Gregg’s comment: You can tell he was being genuine about his feelings towards the movie (no actor is that good). I just love how Gregg is a fan of the Avengers… and apparently (according to The Avengers Prelude: Fury’s Big Week) even his character is a fan of Cap!

    • yeah i really like that line!

      “don’t worry, we will find your favorite action figure”

      i hope they build on that dynamic more in avengers.

  13. I love Stan the man’s cameos. I mean he’s the creator of all my favorite characters so hell if he wants a starring role give him one. ;)

    • He isn’t the creator of Captain America though… poor ol’ Joe Simon should have gotten that cameo in TFA.
      May he rest in peace now…

      • No but Stan Lee is considered the face of the company, and has been since the 80′s

      • Exactly. What’s the point of Stan Lieb doing his regularly scheduled, scenery chewing cameo bit in Captain America The First Avenger, when in fact Joe Simon AND Jack Kirby! And in 1941 when Stan Lieb had NOTHING to do with any future Marvel character.

        Simon and Kirby aren’t alive today to make a cameo. But Stan Lieb has the unmitigated gall to make his pitiful, pathetic and jarring in your face cameo/commercial in a Captain America film?

        Stan Lieb has no shame.

        • If you insist on calling him by his birth name and not his legal name, at least have the decency to get it right.
          i guess you’re just a DC fan-BOY who’s got nothing better to do.

          • OR, my theory: as a kid, all Kryptonic wanted was for Stan Lee to give him his autograph, and when he finally got a chance to meet Stan, he didn’t show up…
            Oh wait, that’s Sheldon and Will Wheaton’s relationship in ‘The Big Bang Theory’… my bad ;)

            • Actually, you’re EXACTLY like the stereotypical geeks/dorks that inhabit that show…. I’m pretty sure you would admit to that.

              • Oh, wow… so you can tell “EXACTLY” what a person’s like and compare him to someone else, just by reading one of his comments? — I bet you’re a blast at parties ;)

  14. I laugh at the Stan Lee cameos. I actually like them and don’t find they detract overly from the film, nor do they draw me out of it. I’m looking forward to his cameos in Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, and Iron Man 3.

  15. I love his cameos and look forward to them in these films and more “Excelsior!”

    • You mean one of the men who created these characters. Jack Kirby, who is arguably more responsible for creating the characters/stories, has been dead for decades.

      • This all has less to do with Stanley’s stupid, predictable and cringe inducing cameos and more to do with his absolute disregard for the great Jack Kirby.

        It has everything to do with Stanley Lee flagrantly taking ALL the credit for all of these great characters ( even Captain America! ) without ever even mentioning Jack Kirby! Kirby, who had MORE influence on these characters than Lee. That’s the bottom line.

        It’s a pity that, other than myself and Wes, no one on this thread comprehends the finer points you make in your article, Ben.

      • @Ben :

        Just read Jjdd’s comment so add him to those of us who agree with you, Ben.

    • On the flip side, whenever Stanley Lieb does finally leave this world for the next one, at least Marvel fans will finally enjoy a Marvel based film w/out the annoying and DISTRACTING Stan Lieb spot.

      As Ben Moore correctly and admirably points out, Jack Kirby created most every major Marvel character. In fact, his influence is actually greater that Stan Lieb. The Avengers that all of us have seen since the 60′s and will SEE this coming May 2012 have everything to do with Jack Kirby’s visual genius. The man who designed and drew them.

      That is what Stan Lieb would prefer you not to know.

  16. I love his cameos and i think he deserves it. he is 89 and he does not know how much he has left. imo, i think its his time to enjoy these little moments in the movies while he can. I have such Profound and Huge Admiration for Him as Well. I hope that as long as he is alive and healthy that he will be able to participate in all of them. :)

  17. he didnt appear in X Men first Class and look how that turned out. So they are not essential. IMO they do add a smile during the fast paced and exciting tour de force that is a MARVEL movie, so bring them on why not.

  18. Wish they had put in a Stan (the Man) cameo in First Class. Would have been nice. That said, there are literally not that many Golden Age Comic Book artists left these days. There’s Stan, Joe Simon is still alive, and I don’t know who else. The point is, these guys are pretty much going the same route as WWI and WWII vets. Becoming less and less, and not being given much recognition for the lifetime achievements they did. When Jerry Robinson passed on, and then Sheldon Moldoff, I was genuinely sad. And I’ll be utterly crushed when Stan passes on as well.

    • Sorry to break this to you, Simon passed away a few months ago.

      • Sadly, Joe Simon has passed away. Only a few months ago. Stan Lieb must be dancing on his grave. How does he find the time when he’s soooooo busy ruining all these potentially good movies?

        Also, while Stan Lieb didn’t actually make a live action cameo in X Men: First Class, he unfortunately does make his presence known. In the beginning credits there’s a camera move on a bunch of photographs. There’s a framed picture of “you know who.” Never underestimate a person’s vanity.
        Still, one wonders what on earth would keep Stan Lieb from appearing in one of his “classic” cameos. He was probably too busy filming other cameos.

        Either that, or he took too much Geritol the night before the scheduled shoot.

  19. I likes Stan’s cameos. Like another poster said, how bad is your ADD when a 5-10 second cameo takes you out of a movie. I thought TIH cameo was the best as it was woven into the story and provided an essential plot moment. The funniest I thought was Thor’s.

    • I find these ADD attacks to be a little strange. I just don’t like these cameos from a creative standpoint. It takes me out of the flow of the movie, it doesn’t literally make it impossible for me to watch the rest of the movie. There’s a reason Alfred Hitchcock got annoyed with his own cameos, and why he started putting them at the beginning of his films — because he didn’t want people to be taken out of the cinematic experience and he didn’t want people to be so concerned about where he showed up. I guess he had ADD too!

      • Not all of Stan’s cameos were like that…
        His cameos in the Iron Man movies were very subtle – you hardy noticed him.
        And IMO, when the cameo adds to the story (like his appearance in Thor when he showed Mjornir was immovable or in TIH where we saw how toxic Banner’s blood was to others), then it doesn’t matter either.

        But I can agree, his FF cameos and his cameo in TFA (among a few others), were a little distracting – just a little though… it still didn’t take away from the cinematic experience – it just didn’t add anything.

        • I actually really appreciated his Iron Man cameo, but that’s a film that it works well in, as it’s an action comedy. Even his cameo in Captain America, which was purposefully over-the-top and sort of whimsical, wasn’t bad.

          • Sorry for going a little off topic, but I wouldn’t call Iron Man an “action comedy” (Tropic Thunder is an action comedy for example)
            Iron Man was an action movie witty humor (IMO, it had just as much humor as Mission Impossible 4, yet that wasn’t called an action comedy ;))

            • *Edit: action movie WITH witty humor…

            • Well, agree to disagree. Tropic Thunder is a slapstick comedy (with some action, I guess?). Iron Man is an action comedy more along the lines of Beverly Hills Cop.

              • Well… this is definitely the first time someone described IM as an action comedy ;)
                Guess there’s a first time for everything lol…

                • Are you serious? What are the two main ingredients of the Iron Man films? Action and comedy. “Superhero” comes in third.

                  • Doesn’t matter what the main ingredients were… it’s still a superhero movie. (Spider-Man’s “main ingredients” were drama and action [too much drama for my taste] – but it wasn’t classified as an action drama movie, it’s a superhero movie, and therefore, falls under that classification – depending on the type of movie: sci-fi/fantasy/action-adventure)

                    My point is, I’ve never heard anyone ever described IM as an action comedy — I just find it a little odd that you do – but that’s your opinion… and you’re entitled to it.

                    • Haha. Actually, it very much matters what the ingredients of a film are when you’re classifying it. That’s…how you classify it?

                      And Spider-Man had more superheroing than it did drama, so that’s not a very good comparison. It certainly had more superheroing than, for example, Iron Man, and I say that as someone who really liked Iron Man.

                      Frankly, The Dark Knight is more of a crime film than it is a superhero film.

                      Of course, all of these are superhero films, but the point is, they’re also (sometimes) other genres as well.

                    • Honestly, I have no idea why you’re nitpicking this. You brought up the cameo in Iron Man, and all I said was the cameo worked there because the emphasis of that movie was on comedy. That was the point of what I said. Do you really need me to stress that it falls under the umbrella of “superhero film” simultaneously?

                    • @Ben:
                      Thor had just as much humor as IM1 (the humor just wasn’t nearly as good as IM’s ;)), but that movie was classified as a fantasy flick – not comedy fantasy or action comedy.

                      All I’m saying is that the classification you gave for IM1 just now, doesn’t fit the actual description of the movie – which is, an action adventure.

                      I can agree that it had an a lot of comedy, but the focus wasn’t on the comedy (i.e. it had a lot of humor, but it wasn’t a comedy), so IMO, it doesn’t go into the action comedy class.

                    • What classification are you referring to? Marvel and Wikipedia can describe these movies however they want to, but that doesn’t change the fact that Iron Man focuses primarily on action and comedy.

                    • You know… the classification that almost every movie review and dvd review gave it: the classification of an action-adventure movie (and most action-adventure movies have a lot of comedy, still doesn’t make it an action comedy, because in most people’s opinion, an action comedy is something like Tropic Thunder… or, if they ever make a good Deadpool movie, I’m sure that’ll be classified as an action comedy as well).

                      Anyway, like you said, agree to disagree…

      • “I just don’t like these cameos from a creative standpoint.”

        Ben, IMO, you should have included that in your article.

        I can see how if someone dwells on the fact they are there and wait to see them just to irritate themselves, how that could take a person out of the movie, but I subscribe to the idea of knowing they’ll be there, but not anticipating them.

        I could not care less if they are there or not. It doesn’t bother me either way.

        • Uh, INK, I did. I said it took me out of the film. That is a problem from a creative standpoint, at least for me.

          • I understand now, I just didn’t get that from when I first read it.

            • Fair enough.

  20. I like seeing Stan…one day he wont be around and we’ll be missing the cameos…


    • they will probably resort to having a picture of him in the background somewhere.

  21. To those who dont want stan the man you need to just stop talking. The man is a legend and deserves his place in the movies. They are small and just add alittle. Its not like mallrats here. If it throws u out of the movie thy much u need a.d.d. Meds

  22. I’m glad that Stan is “FINALLY” getting the notoriety, respect, and revenue that he deserves for his creations!

    He may or may not remember me, but I actually sent him an email a while ago and told him that there should be a character preserved in history which is based upon him! His character, “Stan Lee” would be that of an average guy who is able to summon a tailor made Superhero from his creative mind instantly for any circumstance which may arise!

  23. I’ve never more strongly disagreed with a comment on SR as Ben’s that ‘Stan’s cameos are more trouble than they’re worth’. I’m glad he appreciates that he’s in the minority. Having grown up with Stan the Man at the helm of affairs in Marvel, and having created many characters of my own while growing up drawing comics, I have profound respect for comic creators – especially those who blazed the trail when such was scoffed at. The old man deserves All the accolades he gets- and I mean All. I sometimes imagine myself in his shoes and darn! it must feel like heaven seeing your characters come to life and you playing a role (however minute or insignificant). Who would ever contemplate denying such a brilliant and genial old man such a well-deserved dream?

    I’m sorry for being passionate about this but please let’s compliment Stan however we can while he is still alive and not when he’s dead. I am glad to see he still has his humour.

    • I love his sense of humor… very few people can be so sarcastic (and likable at the same time) as Stan Lee ;)

    • “Having respect for” someone and putting them in cameos in every Marvel super hero film are two different things. I agree with Ben! It’s a distraction – no matter how you much you like Stan Lee.

    • i concur

    Does anyone remember Stan’s cameo as a secret agent in Chuck? — Because that was hilarious – instant classic IMO.

  25. Granted, he didnt create some of the characters of whose films he has appeared in but as the pioneer of the Marvel Revolution of the 60s and the human face of heroes, we have to acknowledge that without him most of these characters may never have been.

    • But you can acknowledge that without granting him a cameo in each and every movie.

      As much as you’re for acknowledging authorship in these movies, does it not bother you that Jack Kirby gets no credit, despite being equally responsible for the characters?

      • Thing is… Jack Kirby has passed away, so he can’t have cameos.
        He is acknowledged in the credits though (of every Marvel Studios movie).
        And with Cap:TFA, Joe Simon was also credited (although, seeing as he was still alive during filming for that movie, I believed he deserved that cameo instead of Lee – but Joe was probably not capable to doing the cameo)
        So those guys did get their nods… they did deserve more than a name on a list that no one ever sticks around to read, but now those creators are gone, there isn’t much else that can be done.

        • But his estate does not get the royalties that Lee does. They’ve never been given equal credit/reward.

          • Yeah, I’m also angry at that (the fact that Kirby had to live in poverty while Lee kinda rolled in the cash) but still, Kirby is gone now, and at this point, it’s only his greedy family members left that want to live off his talents and success.

            • It’s not greedy, it’s what Jack Kirby wanted, and what he deserved.

              • All I know is, that if one of my family members died, I wouldn’t be so obsessed with what he/she deserved and wanted for his/her family. I wouldn’t drag the memory of that man/woman through the mud with a a long court case that’ll most certainly only end in a huge, dirty, money grubbing battle.
                I’d let the poor soul rest in peace.
                So IMO, it is greed. Justifiable greed, but greed none the less.

  26. @jjdd, if it puts a smile on some people’s faces and give the cinema audience another reason to shout in every Marvel movie, I see no need to begrudge it. It’s kinda like ‘playa-hatin’ IMO. Geez, just a few seconds for pete’s sake. Indulge him.

  27. I just cant wait for The Avengers to come out, and i cant wait to see Stan Lee’s cameo.

  28. Ben, I agree that Big Jack should be credited-unfortunately he can’t cameo in a movie. If he were alive, I’m sure he’d have been featured. We’re trying to credit the living legend. Having said that, I’m sure in the opening credits of Marvel and DC movies, the character creators are usually acknowledged.

    • All the creators (including some of the present “architects” as Marvel calls them – people like Brubaker and Fraction) are acknowledged during end credits – If I remember correctly, some of the Marvel Studios movies also acknowledge Kirby and Lee during the opening credits… (can’t be sure which ones it was though)
      With DC, I remember Kane being acknowledged during the start of the end credits as well.