Stan Lee was a highly recognizable figure in the comic and film industry, so much so that his cameos in Marvel films were heavily appreciated. Even in his later years, the Marvel leader would make momentary appearances in the films, becoming an Easter egg for savvy viewers to spot.
However, Sam Raimi, the director of the 2002 version of Spider-Man, initially objected to the inclusion of Lee in the film. "I got the job for Spider-Man in 1999, and [Marvel head] Avi Arad said 'I want you to put Stan in the movie,'" Raimi said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. He cited Lee's lack of acting ability as the reason to leave him out of the film. Arad insisted on including him in the film, and, as the boss of Marvel, he ultimately got his way.
Despite his initial objections, however, Raimi's opinion of the cameo took a complete 180 degree turn, as he now says it's one of his "favorite parts in the movie."
He wasn't the only Marvel film participant to enjoy the late comic great's cameos. Sebastian Stan, who plays Bucky Barnes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, acknowledged Lee's enthusiasm to make a guest appearance in the Marvel films. "I know he was very happy with what we've done and that he really enjoyed the films and making all those cameos," he said.
Stan's time on set allowed him brief interactions with Lee. "We'd run into each other and he always remembered that I was playing Bucky and he always threw a glance at me and said 'Remember, Bucky's one of the good guys.'"
It is apparent that the world lost the truly influential figure that was Stan Lee, but his legacy will forever be solidified in the hearts of fans, friends, and family.