Ever since he co-created Spider-Man (recently referred to as "Marvel's Mickey Mouse") with Steve Ditko back in the 1960s, Stan Lee has served as one of Marvel Comics' most recognizable creative forces. He served as the company's publisher from 1972 to 1996 and, since then, has taken on a producing role in the majority of Marvel films (be they from Marvel Studios and/or 20th Century Fox).
Of course, Lee is probably best known nowadays for having made cameo appearances in more than 20 Marvel film adaptations, as well as various live-action and animated series. Lee recently popped up in Avengers: Age of Ultron and moviegoers should keep their eyes peeled for his cameo in the fast-approaching Ant-Man.
Lee, meanwhile, has already started building up anticipation for his role in another Marvel adaptation: director Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse. According to Business Insider, Lee teased a crowd at San Diego Comic-Con 2015, describing his Apocalypse role was "different than every other one [he's] done."
Asked by a fan which of his many cameos was his favorite, Lee ultimately confessed that his upcoming X-Men appearance may top the list. While he was prevented from getting into too much detail by the moderator (and other Marvel employees present), Lee did offer the following to fans present:
"When you go see the next X-Men movie when it comes out and see my fantastic cameo, you will say, 'I remember he told me about it here. It's a different cameo in that it has one additional thing in it. And if that doesn't make you go see X-Men, I'm wasting my time."
At this point, it's anyone's guess exactly how Lee's Apocalypse cameo distinguishes itself from its many predecessors. After all, thus far his roles have run the gamut from an innocent bystander to clueless librarian to himself. For the most part though, Lee's cameos have been light-hearted moments or blink-and-you'll-miss it appearances that do little to affect the actual storyline of the film, with The Incredible Hulk probably the closest exception. Giving him a cameo that somehow impacts the story at hand would be an interesting change of pace.
That being said, Lee hasn't appeared in an X-Men film since X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006. Of Lee's comic book creations (he and Jack Kirby co-created the X-Men), that franchise - along with Spider-Man - is perhaps the most successful one on the big screen. Here's hoping that Singer and the creative team behind X-Men: Apocalypse have come up with something exceptional for Lee to do, especially seeing as the film marks what Singer calls "true birth of the X-Men." It would be a fitting tribute for one of the team's creators to play an important role.
Fantastic Four opens on August 7, 2015; Deadpool on February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit on October 7, 2016; Wolverine 3 (not the official title) on March 3, 2017; Fantastic Four 2 on June 9, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13, 2018.
Source: Business Insider