It might seem impossible to imagine now, but Sam Raimi, director of two perfect Spider-Man films (and one okay one), didn’t want to put Stan Lee into his Marvel movie, for his hugely popular cameo which featured the iconic comic creator saving a child from falling rubble.
“I got the job for Spider-Man in 1999,” Raimi said in a tribute statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “And [Marvel head] Avi Arad said, ‘I want you to put Stan in the movie.’ And I was like, ‘No. I know Stan, and he can’t act.’ And Avi was, ‘I want him in the movie. We did it for X-Men, we’re doing it here.’”
“Now imagine you’re a minor director in England doing Macbeth and you’re told, ‘Put the writer in the play.’ It sounds absurd. ‘Fine, you want Shakespeare in the play, I’ll put Shakespeare in the play.’ Now it’s one of my favourite parts in the movie.”
Ours too, Sam.
That wasn’t the only shocking revelation to come from the statement, however. Raimi also revealed that he was in the running to direct Thor – in the 1990s.
“After I did Darkman, Stan Lee called me and was like, ‘Hey, kid, I liked your movie.’ He took me out to lunch and said we should work together. I said I’d like to make a movie about Thor. We worked together writing treatments and took it to Fox and pitched it. And they said, “Absolutely no. Comic books don’t make good movies.”
Raimi also paid touching tribute to the Marvel man. “Stan’s creations have the power of his humanity. And that power is geometrically increasing over time. His legacy will not fade. People say that about a lot of people, but in his case it’s true.”
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