While I was busy this past weekend seeing the sights at C2E2, two legends of the comic book world, Stan Lee and Avi Arad, were making an appearance at Wizard World Anaheim. During their panel, which SuperHeroHype was on hand to cover, Lee and Arad answered a number of questions from fans about the future of Marvel movies, Joss Whedon's role as director of The Avengers, and Stan's many amusing cameos.
When asked what he thought about Joss Whedon as the director of The Avengers, Avi Arad gave his approval saying,
"My personal opinion is that Joss will do a fantastic job. He loves these characters and is a fantastic writer... It's part of his life so you know he is going to protect it... I expect someone like him is going to make the script even better."
Stan Lee concurred with Arad's opinion in an interview after the panel, saying,
"I think it's wonderful. The man is so talented. He's really great. He's gonna do a good job."
Stan also mentioned that he had met with Edgar Wright about six months ago to talk about the Ant-Man movie, describing Wright as "real good" and "thrilled" about getting a chance to be involved with Ant-Man.
Switching focus from directors to actors, Stan Lee expressed some concern over Chris Evans playing both the Human Torch and Captain America, but ultimately was in favor of the decision, citing plans for Marvel to regain control over all of its outstanding properties in coming years.
"It seems a little bit strange to me, but he's a terrific actor and has a great personality... The problem is that some other movie companies have the rights to some of the characters but, after a few years, Marvel will get them all back... sooner or later they will get [a single movie universe], absolutely."
Regarding possible future Marvel movies, both Arad and Lee suggested (half-jokingly of course) that any number of Marvel properties could be hitting the big screen down the road including Iron Fist and Doctor Strange.
Thus far, we don't know what Stan's cameo will be in Thor (though we've heard some rumors) and SuperHeroHype wasn't able to make the situation any clearer. They did, however, give Stan the chance to make a pretty great joke.
"SHH: Is your cameo in "Thor" as a man or as a god?
Lee: I love that question; "Stan, are you a man or are you a god." I'm a man. I was hoping that I would be Odin, but you know they're so short-sighted."
On the subject of Stan's Iron Man 2 cameo, in which he plays Larry King, Stan was more forthright, explaining how the idea to don King's famous glasses and suspenders came to pass.
"He'll [Larry King] probably shoot me if he sees me. That wasn't my idea, you know. I was just going to be a guy in a crowd who says hello to Robert Downey Jr. as he walks by. Then, all of a sudden, the director, Jon Favreau says, "Wait! I've got an idea! Give Stan a pair of horn-rimmed glasses and suspenders."
As to what he would be doing in the film as Larry King, Stan neglected to say. He did make sure to cover his bases in case the cameo didn't turn out well.
"I'm not supposed to tell anybody. But, if you think it's dumb, it wasn't my idea. If it's clever, I'm glad I thought of it."
For more insight from Stan Lee and Avi Arad's panel, check out SuperHeroHype for the full story.
What did you think of some of Arad's thoughts on Joss Whedon? Is there a cooler 87-year-old man on the planet than Stan Lee?