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Genius Brands Licenses Likeness For Marvel’s Most Frequently Appearing Character

Here’s a pop quiz for you: Which character has appeared in more Marvel superhero movies than anyone else? Is it Ironman, played by Robert Downey Jr.? Or perhaps Nick Fury, the head of Shield, played by Samuel L. Jackson?

It’s neither. In truth, those characters place a distant second, each having played roles in 10 out of the 23 Marvel movies to date. The man who appeared in the most movies was in all 23 films, namely Stan Lee, the legendary captain of the Marvel ship for many decades.

Now, Genius Brands International has announced a collaboration with Marvel Studios where Marvel Studios has licensed from Genius Brands certain likeness rights to Stan Lee in support of future marketing content celebrating Marvel Studios’ legacy.

“The faithful protection of Stan’s brand for the millions of fans around the world is a sacred stewardship for us at Genius Brands,” says Andy Heyward, chairman and chief executive officer, Genius. “As we approach the Stan Lee Centennial in 2022 and focus on celebrating the unique and iconic stature of Stan Lee, we are thrilled to collaborate with Marvel Studios.”

It’s become a well known movie trope in the Marvel Universe that Stan Lee appears in each movie, usually as an irascible witness to the battles waged by the superhero characters he helped create and sustain over the years. In 2008 Stan Lee appeared as himself in Ironman, although Tony Stark mistakes him for Hugh Hefner. In his final appearance in an MCU film Lee makes a posthumous appearance in Avengers Endgame, digitally de-aged as a car driver in 1970, driving past army base Camp Lehigh and shouting, “Hey man, make love, not war!”

Lee also appeared in several Marvel TV series, the pre-MCU Spiderman series, the X-Men series, and more. Now, it appears Lee has found the key to cinematic immortality and will likely appear in future Marvel projects. This initiative between Genius Brands and Marvel Studios using Lee’s assets is the first collaboration between the companies. The companies say they are also discussing ways to work together on other Lee-related initiatives in the future.

Genius Brands, through “Stan Lee Universe,” its recently announced joint venture with POW! Entertainment, controls the Stan Lee name, the animated and live Stan Lee likeness, the Stan Lee signature, and the broad Stan Lee brand/Stan Lee Presents and a variety of Stan Lee properties created post-Marvel.


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