Fox Buys Stan Lee Life Rights for 1970s-Set Action Adventure Movie (Exclusive)
Stan Lee's story is coming to the big screen.
Yes, the iconic creator of many of Marvel Comics' most beloved characters has made countless appearances in films. But this time, it’s a slice of Lee’s life that is getting the cinematic treatment — though not in the way you might expect.
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Twentieth Century Fox, the studio behind the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, has acquired Lee's life rights with a goal of creating a period action-adventure movie, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, the producers behind such movies as Twilight, The Maze Runner and the upcoming Power Rangers, are attached to produce what is described as being in the tone of Kingsman: The Secret Service or, as one insider put it, "Roger Moore’s 007."
Lee and Gil Champion, Lee's partner at POW! Entertainment, will executive produce the project.
The story of Lee has been well-documented. Lee, born Stanley Lieber, grew up poor in the Bronx and entered the comic book publishing world at the age of 17 in 1939, working for his uncle at Timely Comics.
Lee’s dream was to write the “great American novel,” and he was considering quitting when his wife, whom he considers the great love of his life, convinced him to give the comics one last shot.
Thus, in his 40s, Lee co-created The Fantastic Four, which launched the Marvel Age of comics. Lee, mostly with artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, created hero after hero — Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the X-Men, Iron Man, the Hulk, among many others — revitalizing the decaying publishing house and changing the face of pop culture forever.
In the 1970s, Lee moved to Hollywood to pursue a dream of seeing his characters adapted for the big and small screens, and hobnobbed with the town's luminaries.
The project will be no biopic, but rather an adventure with Lee as the main character. Kingsman and Moore-era James Bond movies had dapper heroes who quipped one-liners — and, in Moore’s case, flirted with the ladies — as they sparred with larger-than-life evildoers.
No writer has been hired to flesh out the story, so the project's existing details could morph. Exec Matt Reilly is overseeing for Fox.
CAA repped Lee in the deal.
As the man would say, excelsior!
by Graeme McMillan
by Graeme McMillan
by Andrew James Myers, Dan Gvozden