According to a recently revealed screenplay, a Stan Lee-like cameo maintained existence in the late script of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Tom Holland‘s Peter Parker battles many classic Spider-Man adversaries from throughout the multiverse in the blockbuster superhero film, including Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Men enemies. No Way Home, a film that celebrates the wallcrawler on screen, has sparked the cinema to become one of the biggest grossing films of all time.
One prominent figure from Spider-past, Man’s however, was unable to appear in the multiverse film: original Spider-Man creator Stan Lee. The legendary comics writer, who died in 2018, was the face of the Marvel brand and participated in a number of ventures based on his work. The ‘Stan Lee Cameo’ trend, which dates back to his presence in a courtroom scene in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, saw the writer’s involvement in practically every Marvel film as a rite-of-passage. Lee had been in every interconnected film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe up until Avengers: Endgame in 2019.
Despite Lee’s absence, a recent reveal for No Way Home shows that a tribute to him came close to being included in the final cut. The specifications of a proposed Lee-lookalike are described in an excerpt on ComicBook.com. The scenario would have occurred in the film’s renowned closing scenes when Peter meets MJ in her work7. Peter notices the conversations between her and a regular customer while waiting in line for his order in the finished picture, but this script excerpt shows that the client was initially supposed to be a “Stan Lee Lookalike.” While this never happened, it’s easy to see how the scene would’ve played out, given Lee’s frequent appearances in stores and crowds around the Marvel Universe.
Sony published the screenplay as part of their push to have the blockbuster success nominated for the Academy Awards in 2022. What appeared like an improbable pick for seasonal awards is swiftly gaining traction, with fans hoping for at least a nomination for the popular film. Following the release of the must-see film, the alternate scenes and designs witness a rise in audiences’ interest although they were not included in the final cut. Unused costume art includes a sweater-wearing Doc Ock and a Hammer Industries hoodie worn by Green Goblin, as well as several abandoned ideas, including a confrontation between Doctor Strange and Mysterio.
Eventually, Lee doppelgänger did not emerge in the finished film, and the Cameo King will always be irreplaceable. However, it’s worth noting that this planned appearance could still be employed for one last ‘Excelsior’ in the future. Perhaps later in Phase 4, fans will be able to bid their final goodbyes to the famous figure in a tentpole MCU film. In any case, it’s certain that Lee would have delighted to see Peter Parker of all versions ever onscreen together, with the respect they earned.