Stan Lee Gets Candid About His Role With MARVEL, Movie Hulks, Ultron, And Gay Spider-Man

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stan lee bannerStan Lee has given an incredibly candid and open interview with Playboy (with a tip of the hat to BleedingCool) today where he talks about everything from his personal life, all that fabricated Steve Ditko/Jack Kirby drama, his role with Marvel, and his views on the current movie landscape. The four-page writeup has Lee giving some of the most honest answers I recall seeing from the living legend in recent memory, and they are some very interesting answers indeed.

stan leeStan The Man” is the face of Marvel, but he doesn’t really have anything to do with the day-to-day operations on the comic book or movie side of things. Whenever the writer talks about characters who should get their own movies, some sites run his quotes as scripture. Lee points out that he really doesn’t have much in the way of insider information considering his role is “strictly honorary.” He tells the site:

Mostly I’m just a pretty face they keep for the public. My entire career, I treated Marvel like one big ad campaign, with slogans like “Make mine Marvel,” “Welcome to the Marvel age of comics” and so forth. After a while, I became Marvel’s ambassador to the world. I’ve lectured in every city in the country probably two or three times. I’ve been to China, Europe, Japan, Australia and every place in between. Today, my main focus is my own company, POW! Entertainment, which stands for Purveyors of Wonder, and we have projects we’re doing independent of Marvel. We have a television movie, another movie we’re doing with partners in China, as well as one in India. We’re doing a line of children’s books and Stan Lee’s Superhumans series on the web.
I have no standing at Marvel where I decide what projects get made or who gets hired, and certainly none at Disney, which now owns Marvel. I’m a guy they hire as a writer or producer and also to go to conventions and do things like that.

After talking about his personal life and career at Marvel, questions about comic book movies started popping up. You may remember last year Andrew Garfield mentioned that he’d like to have Mary Jane turned into a guy played by Michael B. Jordan. Needless to say, those comments cause quite the commotion. While Garfield cleared his remarks up and said it was just a joke to start a conversation about gender, the site asked Lee what he thought about the possibility of Spider-Man being portrayed as gay:

Listen, I can’t control what actors say or how they behave. I can only comment on how they act, and like I said, Andy’s terrific in the role. I don’t have a line in the sand about Spider-Man. I guess if he were fat and flabby and didn’t look anything like a superhero, you might hear from me, but there’s too much money invested in these films for them to goof around with casting or the basic conception of who these characters are.

HulkfeatureWhile Lee was starting to get candid in his answers, the question was raised about the constant attempts at getting the Hulk right. There was an old TV show, a movie, a kind-of-reboot to that movie, and then the breakthrough with The Avengers. We’ve seen three different movie Hulks, and Lee writes that up to the fact that Hollywood can’t get the basic premise of the Hulk right:

They’ve tried a green Hulk and a red Hulk and a blue Hulk. Everybody tries something, but I think everybody does it wrong. In the last movie he looked pretty good, and the actor was pretty good. But they made him too big and started changing his color. It’s such a simple thing. It’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the way I conceived him. He’s a scientist who turns into a monster. He hates the monster, and he wants to cure himself of turning into it. The monster hates the scientist and doesn’t want to become that weak nothing kind of guy. He likes being the Hulk. To me, as a writer, I could play with that and come up with a million plots. For some reason, Hollywood keeps making the Hulk this big, crazy brute. One day somebody should go back to the basics.

With Avengers: Age of Ultron coming up, there’s another chance for Hollywood to get Hulkright.” When Lee was asked if he was excited about the prospect of seeing Ultron up on the big screen, the writer said he was but he really has no clue who or what Ultron is:

Excited? Sure. But I have to be honest. I don’t have any idea who the hell Ultron is. He was a character developed after I stopped being involved in the Avengers story. I was asking some guys in the office who Ultron is, but then my phone rang and I got busy and never found out. Marvel introduced so many characters and strange situations, it’s hard to keep track of them all.

Lee goes on to talk about other things like his mortality, his legacy, his time as a writer and publisher for Marvel, and what he thinks about some of the characters he created. If you’ve got the time, you can read the fantastic interview in full at the source link below. Lee covered a lot of ground and really opened himself up in a way that we’re not used to seeing before. It’s nice to know the ol’ legend is still capable of a few surprises. What do you think about Lee‘s comments?

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Source : Playboy via BleedingCool