Captain Marvel, just like any other movie in the MCU, features a cameo from comic book legend Stan Lee. The only difference with his appearance in this film, though, is that it's his first posthumous cameo. Speaking with Mashable, the directors of Marvel's next mega-hit, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, explained how they tweaked the moment shortly after Lee's 2018 death at the age of 95.
For those who want to go into Captain Marvel blind, the rest of this article will feature *spoilers* regarding multiple tributes to Lee.
When Brie Larson's Captain Marvel lands on Earth, there's a sequence in which she's looking for a shapeshifting Skrull. While looking among the commuters on the the train, she spots Stan Lee, who is practicing his lines for his fan-favorite appearance in Kevin Smith's 1995 cult classic Mallrats. Considering the movie's set in '95, the directors couldn't have realized a better moment for Lee. "Trust me, true believer," he can be heard saying as the Captain looks on with a smile.
Originally, Larson just moved on, but the Boden and Fleck felt compelled to offer a sweet nod to Lee when news broke of his death. "Instead of just the pure laugh we had, we had a little bit of a smile from Captain Marvel in response to it, and she kind of breaks character for a moment," director Anna Boden explained. "I think it reflects a little bit of what the audience is feeling, and we allowed that to happen."
That wasn't the only tribute Stan Lee got. Every superhero in the usual Marvel opening sequence was replaced by Stan Lee's cameos across the MCU films, and it was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from opening night audiences, who clapped at its inclusion.
"The Marvel logo was a Marvel thing that they presented to us," Fleck said. "They said, 'Hey guys, what do you think of this? We were thinking of doing this for the movie.'" Boden added they they loved the tribute, explaining that they both cried when they saw it. "We were just so moved by it," Fleck explained. "We feel really lucky to have gotten the opportunity to meet him, and have that special moment on set."