With Captain Marvel now available via streaming services for home viewing, it is not surprising that some fans are rewatching the film particularly to meditate on the loss of Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics great who passed away in November and whose final Marvel Studios cameo came in Avengers: Endgame. Captain Marvel, the first Marvel Studios film released after Lee's death, featured not only a memorable cameo appearance by the longtime writer/editor, but also a special Marvel Studios opening that heavily featured Lee. And if anybody is going to have something to say about that Stan Lee cameo, it's probably filmmaker Kevin Smith.
Smith is geek royalty, having featured comic book artists and conventions in his independent films, as well as casting figures like Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Stan Lee to play memorable roles in them. Lee's most memorable Smith-related role was in 1995's Mallrats, in which he played a fictionalized version of himself. It is the Mallrats role that Captain Marvel homaged in Lee's cameo, and on first viewing it left Smith in tears of joy. A few months removed from that, he is rewatching the scene and shared some observations about Lee's larger-than-life personality and the feeling of seeing his friend again as he first met him. You can see it below.
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I bought @captainmarvelofficial on @itunes on Tuesday, so I’ve been re-watching @therealstanlee moment over and over. On one level, it’s an insane honor (and oddly comforting) to be included in the @marvelstudios movies at all, even just my name. But on a higher level, there’s my old friend, sounding (and looking) like he did when I first met him 24 years ago. It makes sense that Stan belongs to the movies now, as he was always larger-than-life - like a figment of some creative character’s imagination. And in truth, he was: Stanley Lieber dreamed up #stanlee and played him so well, the part’s been retired now that he’s gone. There will never be another Stan Lee - so we were all lucky enough to enjoy the one we got! Miss you, my friend... #KevinSmith #captainmarvel #stan #marvel #marvelcomics #marvelcinematicuniverse
This is Lee's final Marvel Studios appearance looking like he did later in life; in Avengers: Endgame, Lee was digitally de-aged to appear as he did in the 1970s. In a twist of fate, Endgame is not Lee's final onscreen appearance; that is expected to be in Madness in the Method, an upcoming movie starring and directed by Smith's longtime friend and collaborator Jason Mewes. That film, which just got a distribution deal with Cinedigm, will feature Mewes playing a fictionalized version of himself struggling to overcome the perception that he is basically a real-life version of his onscreen persona Jay.
Captain Marvel is now available digitally for purchase at various streaming video on demand services. The film will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on June 11. The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues with Avengers: Endgame, in theaters now, and Spider-Man: Far From Home, which will be in theaters the first week in July.