With the release of a new Marvel movie comes the requisite Stan Lee cameo, although Deadpool 2's may be a little harder to spot; unlike his cameo in the first Deadpool - where he's hard to miss as an announcer in a strip club - Lee's cameo in Deadpool 2 is more of a proper Easter egg.
By now, the Stan Lee cameo is an expected element of practically every Marvel project, no matter if it's produced by Marvel Studios, Fox, or Sony. Even TV shows based on Marvel properties, like The Gifted or Runaways have included Lee cameos. And not every documented appearance of Lee is strictly a filmed cameo, as in the case of Netflix's Marvel series where his image will repeatedly pop up in the background; for example, on a plaque in a police station or on a bus advertisement for a law office.
For Deadpool 2, the Stan Lee cameo is more in line with those of the Marvel shows on Netflix than his show-stopping MCU appearances. Indeed, just his famous face appears rather than Stan "The Man" himself. In this case, it isn't a photograph or poster but a graffiti portrait painted on the side of a building; Stan's portrait can be seen just as Domino comes in for her parachute landing after the rest of X-Force has met their untimely (if hilarious) ends. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, making this appearance of Lee more of an Easter egg than a true cameo.
And while having his face tagged on a brick wall technically counts, keeping Stan's streak intact, why wasn't a proper cameo filmed for Deadpool 2?
Deadpool 2 certainly isn't at a loss for cameos, but with so many other famous faces popping up, it makes it all the more jarring that Stan Lee isn't one of them. Of course, Lee can't be expected to film something for every single Marvel-related property that releases. It can be almost a whole day of filming for what are only a few seconds of screen time, and that's without factoring in the travel necessary to get Lee to and from the set (Lee is also reportedly not a fan of flying, which surely makes those arrangements all the more difficult.) He may seem spry for his 95 years, but filming these cameos is a tasking endeavor.
To streamline the filming process and make the travel less of strain on Lee, Marvel Studios has begun filming his cameos in bulk. For instance, when Lee filmed his cameos for Black Panther and Infinity War, he also filmed cameos for Ant-Man & The Wasp and Avengers 4 (there's been no mention of a cameo for Captain Marvel so we'll need to wait and see). This obviously cuts down on the traveling, although some fans complain that this bulk approach has zapped Lee's cameos of their creativity and energy. Then again, others have lauded his cameo in Black Panther has one of his best yet, so it's all just a matter of opinion in the end.
As for the lack of a true Stan Lee cameo in Deadpool 2, it's likely just a matter of availability and nothing more. That said, he did appear in the film's teaser alongside Logan, so was evidently around for some filming on Deadpool 2. It's possible something was filmed but didn't make the cut. That, or Wade telling him to shut up really hurt Stan's feelings.
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020