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A moment, please, for the passing of a superhero movie tradition. According to a report from Fan Expo Canada, Stan Lee will not be appearing in next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. Truly, the days of expecting Lee to appear in every movie based on a Marvel character in some increasingly tenuous, distracting manner are definitely over.
Bleeding Cool reports that Lee told fans attending his panel at the convention that he passed up the chance to cameo in next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past to attend the convention — or, as he apparently put it, to not disappoint the fans — meaning that next year’s X-flick will be the second in a row in which he hasn’t made an appearance (he wasn’t in this year’s The Wolverine either, as the Australia shooting locale was deemed too far to travel).
Lee’s Marvel movie cameos started with the original X-Men movie in 2000, with the co-creator of the Marvel Universe going on to appear in all three Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, both Hulk and The Incredible Hulk, the two Fantastic Four movies, all three Iron Man movies, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger and last year’s Avengers; you’ve seen him selling hotdogs and sunglasses, delivering mail and judging beauty contests, amongst many other things (He’s also been mistaken for Hugh Hefner and Larry King by Robert Downey Jr.‘s Tony Stark in a nice play on the cameo conceit).
In fact, it’s only been the X-Men movies that have seemed to have trouble keeping Lee in the picture. After launching his cameo career with X-Men, he skipped X2: X-Men United before reappearing in X-Men: The Last Stand. He’s been absent from every X-Men movie since, oddly enough, skipping X-Men Origins: Wolverine (would that we’d all followed his example) and X-Men: First Class. Clearly, he took the death of Cyclops way harder than everyone this side of James Marsden.
It’s possible that the 90-year-old was simply too busy shooting all of his other cameos to be available for those movies — seriously, he’s been in 17 movies in the last 13 years, in addition to his “real” job of writing and producing comics, television shows and movies of varying quality — but maybe Marvel Studios has sneakily signed “The Man” to an exclusive contract and he’s just too shy and retiring to tell us. We’ll see if he manages to make it into Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy before officially calling that one, however.
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