Avengers 4 should honor the late, great Stan Lee by making his cameo the post-credits scene. Although Marvel wasn't the first studio to use a post-credits scene, over the last decade these short snippets of footage have become synonymous with the MCU. Some are used to set the stage for future movies, the most famous example being the post-credits scene for Iron Man that essentially launched the entire shared cinematic universe. Others are simply humorous, a classic example being the final post-credits scene of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Few potential post-credits scenes are as exciting as those that will presumably attached to next year's as-yet-untitled Avengers 4. After all, while Avengers 4 is set to bring a close to the first three phases of the MCU, it's also expected to set up the beginning of the next phase; that means any post-credits scenes are likely to be hugely important to Marvel's future plans.
But if Marvel really wants to leave fans thrilled, they should switch things up a little. Specifically, the Stan Lee cameo - which has been confirmed to have been filmed before Lee passed away - should in fact be the post-credits scene. That would be a wonderful way of showing respect to the legendary Marvel Comics writer and editor. It would neatly tie two popular traditions together - the post-credits sequences and the Stan Lee cameos - and, in doing so, it would be a tremendous statement of respect to Stan the Man.
There are several significant advantages to this approach. The Stan Lee cameos are traditionally designed to add a touch of humor to a Marvel film, a smart approach that helps ensure there's a strong sense of tonal variation. Unfortunately, whatever the Stan Lee cameo for Avengers 4 may be, the sad fact is that it will be airing months after Lee's death, which means it will have a very different emotional impact.
Viewers will experience a strange, bittersweet reaction, a blend of amusement and sorrow. It's entirely possible this will be the final cameo, after all, given there's no evidence one was shot for Spider-Man: Far From Home. By moving the cameo into the post-credits scene, Marvel avoids damaging the flow of the film itself. Instead, this approach allows audiences a moment of reflection in the aftermath of the movie, one in which to reflect on Lee and his legacy. It would be a fitting way to honor Lee, while preserving the narrative and emotional flow of the main body of the film.
Meanwhile, from a purely business perspective, this idea would also serve to highlight the fresh beginning that is Spider-Man: Far From Home. That film would be allowed to stand on its own, effectively serving as a launchpad for the entire post-Phase 3 MCU. That would probably benefit Far From Home's box office performance, especially given it will (hopefully) come at the tail-end of a strong marketing campaign.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019