Stan Lee Documentary Trailer
Stan Lee Documentary Trailer

Excelsior! A documentary about Stan Lee is coming out later this month!

Marvel released the official trailer for the film, simply titled Stan Lee, on YouTube, previewing an in-depth look at the beloved Marvel Comics editor’s life, career, and transformational impact on superhero media. Opening on Lee’s brief Iron Man cameo, the trailer quickly cuts to the making of that scene, with director Jon Favreau publicly introducing Lee to his crew as,”the creator of Iron Man.” From there, it cuts to footage of a younger, mustache-less Lee and voiceovers of Lee reflecting on his childhood, love of reading, and personal work ethos. This includes his approach to writing Marvel superheroes, calling them “the kind of people that you or I would be if we had a superpower.”

The Remarkable Legacy of Marvel’s Stan Lee

Lee, who died in 2018 at 95 years old, remains one of the most influential figures in the history of modern comic books. Originally joining Marvel — then Timely Comics — in 1939, Lee eventually became the company’s editor and, throughout the 1960s, helped create multiple genre-defining superheroes alongside famed artists like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. Lee’s characters include the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men, all of whom would not only revolutionize the superhero genre, but receive numerous adaptations across television, animation and live-action movies, including the ongoing Marvel Cinematic Universe. An early trademark of MCU movies was Lee’s cameo appearances, which he continued for as long as he was able.

Looking back on Iron Man‘s fifteen-year anniversary, Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis explained how Lee’s storytelling can still be felt in the MCU’s frequent utilization of post-credit scenes. “Stan always talked about how every comic is someone’s first and it’s the job [of a writer] to never make it the last,” he added, stating, “I took that as my job, too. Get them to come back. We’re always playing with the strongest cliffhangers and the strongest pullback, and the after-credits scenes absolutely do that. We’re never letting you go.”

Marvel’s recent movie releases include Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3, with The Marvels coming next in November. Sony has joined the action with its animated Spider-Man sequel, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, drawing universal acclaim. A third film, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, is expected to come out on March 29, 2024. Likewise, the first official Disney+ MCU show of Phase 5, Secret Invasion, premieres later this month on June 21. Other confirmed MCU shows for 2023 include Loki Season 2 and the Hawkeye spinoff Echo.

Stan Lee begins streaming June 16 on Disney+.