Turns out that wasn't just for the joke: Doctor Strange co-creator Stan Lee really is a fan of Aldous Huxley.
Lee, who has now appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows featuring characters he co-created, told Nola.com that he particularly liked his cameo appearance in the newly-released Doctor Strange, in which he played a bus passenger reading Huxley's The Doors of Perception -- but missing the actual challenges to human perception happening around him.
"I loved the 'Doctor Strange' cameo," Lee said. "Next to Mother Goose, Huxley's my favorite."
That's not a glib comment: Lee, as noted by the original article, has previously expressed his opinion that fairy tales -- like superhero comics -- can engage young minds.
Recently, it was revealed that instead of having the 93-year-old travel to the set of each film independently, Marvel Studios packed four cameos into one single afternoon session, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn at the helm. Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, who's film will include one of those cameos, recently described the process.
“It’s a big deal for a 93-year-old man to go to a movie set and spend a day shooting. James shot four cameos with Stan in one day,” Derrickson said. He noted that Gunn would check in with him from time to time to make sure things matched up. “James was texting me the frame. Does this look right? Does this look good?”
Derrickson finally got to meet him at the premiere, but the two spoke beforehand about Doctor Strange. Lee might not have been sold before the phone call, but he was definitely sold by the end of it.
“I talked to him on the phone, and he grilled me pretty well,” Derrickson said. “By the end of the conversation, he was very happy.”
As for Lee, the cameos he shot that day were for Derrickson's Doctor Strange, Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Jon Watt's Spider-Man: Homecoming. As for that last one, it will most likely turn up in Avengers: Infinity War. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige had nothing but great things to say about Lee's time on set.
Doctor Strange hits theaters on November 4, followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on May 5, 2017. Next up is Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 7, 2017, with Thor: Ragnaroklanding on November 3, 2017. Black Panther debuts on February 16, 2018, followed by the eagerly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War on May 4, 2018. Ant-Man and the Wasp hits on July 6, 2018, with Captain Marvel finally hitting theaters on March 8, 2019.