It's hard to believe we'll no longer play Where's Waldo to spot Stan Lee cameos in Marvel films, but it turns out his last appearance in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a gift that keeps on giving. Recently, the film's creators revealed his role as costume store owner isn't his only cameo in the film, and the rest are very hard to spot.
In Spider-Verse, Lee's most prominent cameo is when he sells Miles Morales a Spider-Man suit. "I’m going to miss him. We were friends, you know. It always fits, eventually," he says.
Can someone pass the Kleenex?
To get people excited for Spider-Verse's upcoming Blu-ray release, Nick Kondo, one of the film's animators, released a snippet of another Lee cameo. It's so fleeting that even the most eagle-eyed of fans might have a hard time noticing.
The clip shows Spider-Man swinging freely around New York City. As he passes the subway, he unwittingly swings past Lee, who's riding one of the train cars. A slow-down of the snippet reveals Lee is doing the web shooter pose along with Miles, which is especially touching since he does it so often in photographs.
Check it out:
Even better news for fans: Stan the Man apparently has a handful of cameos in Spider-Verse — if you know how to spot them. According to co-director Bob Perschietti, they made an effort to include the comic book legend in tons of scenes, but it's up to fans to catch them all.
"The easiest to spot, because you don’t have to stop the film, is when Peter and Miles are on the ground on the sidewalk, after they’d fallen from the train, there’s a dog who smells them with a guy who walks over them. That’s Stan again. On his way home from work,” he said in an interview with Collider. "But then I will say, there are many, many train scenes. Subway shots. If you just pause, he’s in a lot of them. That guy is all over New York. He’s a busy man."
On Twitter, producer Chris Miller teased a different "secret" cameo. It's a scene in which Miles lays on the ground and Lee happens to walk over him while he chats on the phone.
Every fan who's ever flipped open a comic book or watched a Marvel film is familiar with a Lee cameo. He played a huge part in creating our most iconic superheroes, so appearing in the films was his way of giving them his blessing. It was also a method of introducing himself to new generations of fans.
Lee got so good at it that he once jokingly campaigned for an Academy Award for Best Cameo.
Lee also dreamt of being an actor, so cameos were his way of fulfilling a fantasy.
"It's fun. For about 12 seconds, I feel like I'm an actor," he previously told the Los Angeles Daily News. "Every kid wants to be an actor. When I was a kid, I thought, 'Oh, it'd be great to be like Errol Flynn. I want to be an actor.' So I do my cameo. For that brief period, I'm an actor."
We're unsure if the upcoming Marvel films — Captain Marvel, Avengers 4, Dark Phoenix, and Spider-Man: Far From Home — will include Lee cameos (although Marvel boss Kevin Feige hinted at it), so Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse may be extra special.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will be available to download February 26 and for Blu-ray purchase March 19.