Marvel reaches deal over Stan Lee likeness

Marvel reaches deal over Stan Lee likeness

Marvel has reached a deal with Stan Lee Universe to use the late comics creator’s likeness for films and Disney + shows.

Marvel Studio now has the right to Lee’s name, likeness, and signature on the big and small screens, on top of images, footage, and audio recordings featuring him.

Marvel has previously retained Lee’s cameos that were recorded before his death in 2018.

Mr Lee made cameo appearances in almost every major Marvel movie, film, and series before then.

As Insights previously explored, using deceased people’s likeness after their death is a controversial issue and has emerged over the use of late actors’ and musicians’ likeness.

In 2016, Disney released Rogue One, a Star Wars prequel set shortly before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. The film was well-received, praised by critics and fans for its tense depiction of what it takes to be a hero and the concept of martyrdom. The subject of death came up in a different way, however, and the film was the source of controversy. The reason for this was Lucasfilm’s use of an actor who passed away decades ago. With the permission of his estate, the film used the voice and image of Peter Cushing, a veteran British actor who died in 1994. 

Although Lucasfilm had the permission of Cushing’s estate, critics also questioned whether or not it was ethical to use his likeness when he could never give consent. As Kristy Puchko writes, “the fact remains: Cushing couldn’t say no.”


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