Before Marvel Studios was the media juggernaut and Disney subsidiary it is now, they were having to collaborate with other established studios in order to make film properties based on their extensive library.
Avi Arad was the guiding hand at the time, following up on a the success of their first major film, the Wesley Snipes-starring Blade, with a little movie called X-Men in partnership with 20th Century Fox.
Fox’s Lauren Shuler Donner, who originally purchased the rights to the mutant-focused franchise, hired Kevin Feige to help produce the film. Feige would eventually be hired at Marvel Studios by Arad and then would take over as the president of the company, steering it to the successful behemoth it is today.
But way back when, on the production of that first X-Men film, Feige attempted the tradition that would since be coveted and cherished by Stan Lee.
While speaking with Leonard and Jessie Maltin for their Maltin On Movies podcast, Feige was asked if he has ever made a cameo in any of the Marvel films he’s produced.
Feige then revealed that he originally had a cameo in X-Men that didn’t make it to the final cut, but it was filmed.
Feige said he does not normally do them because Lee is “much more charismatic… much more endeared,” but he made an exception in this case for a reason.
“The only reason I did it is because I was completely covered,” Feige revealed. “I was a Weapon X tech pulling Wolverine’s claws out of the oven. But I had a hood and mask… gloves. Every inch of me was covered.”
It sounds simple enough, but Feige wasn’t confident in his limited acting chops.
“I said, ‘oh, that I’ll do.’ And I could barely do that, by the way.”
It’s not exactly a Marvel Studios crossover with Fox’s X-Men franchise, considering it was before the eventual competition between the two, but it’s an interesting anecdote none the less.
Stan Lee’s next cameo can be seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, hitting theaters May 5.
Next up for Marvel is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on May 5, 2017. Spider-Man: Homecoming lands on July 7, 2017, followed by Thor: Ragnarok on November 3, 2017. After that Black Panther debuts on February 16, 2018, while Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on May 4, 2018. Ant-Man and the Wasp is slated for July 6, 2018, followed by Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019.
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