A potential Stan Lee cameo on a new episode of The Simpsons was shut down due to Marvel’s policy that he “doesn’t cameo now,” according to showrunner Al Jean. 

Jean, who caught up with ComicBook.com, discussed the series’ latest crossover with Marvel in a recent 5-minute short, “The Good, The Bart, and The Loki.” As he explains, the short—named of course after Marvel’s latest success story on Disney+ — was potentially going to include a cameo from Lee, thanks to some archival recordings from his last cameo on the show. However, Marvel said they’d rather pass. 

“Only one time. It wasn’t a joke. We just thought, ‘Oh, we have Stan Lee audio from when he was on our show, could we cameo him in?” Jean shared. “And they said that their policy is he doesn’t cameo now that he’s passed away, which is a completely understandable policy. That was their only note and that was, of course, easily done. And the Grogu note [for the Star Wars-themed short] made total sense, too. It was like, if you let everybody use Grogu in their stuff that wanted to, it would be all over. Believe me, I respect that these franchises have a great power beyond ours. I respect it.”

Jean also explained his meeting with Stan Lee, where he and the comic book mastermind discussed the power of seeing Marvel franchises on film.

“It’s surreal. And I can even quote one of the most surreal moments of my life where I got to have lunch with Stan Lee, and I said, ‘Wow,’ it was like 20 years ago, ‘I’m so excited. I’ve always wanted a Spider-Man movie to come out,’” Jean said. “And he said, ‘So have I.’ I was like, ‘I guess you have, haven’t you.’ I’m so glad that he saw, and so many of the Marvel creators got to see, these things go from beloved … I wouldn’t say ‘niche’ because they were super popular, but to so amazingly huge in the world. It’s fantastic. It’s amazing.”