Kevin Smith speaks out about Stan Lee’s Captain Marvel cameo in exclusive YouTube video at youtube.com/KevinSmith.
In a nine minute and sixteen second YouTube video exclusive to his YouTube channel Kevin Smith went into great detail about both his reaction and his timeline for learning about the posthumous Stan Lee cameo in Marvel’s latest film, Captain Marvel.
In the video Kevin Smith details Stan Lee’s latest cameo to provide insight into what happened behind the scenes.
You hear a voice, a very unmistakable voice. You then see a person on a train with a book in front of their face. As you get closer you see that the book is a script. As you get closer to the script you see that it is the title treatment to the movie Mallrats and it says, “By Kevin Smith” on it. I went ape $hit. I was profoundly moved. It was Stan sitting there reading the Mallrats script and reciting the line over and over like he was rehearsing, “Trust me, true believer. Trust me, true believer.”
“To see my friend who is no longer with us was thrilling enough,” Smith detailed. “To see that cameo in which Stan was playing himself and getting ready be in my movie back in 1995 was like...” At this point Smith is nearly brought to tears and requires a moment.
After the emotional description of how the cameo plays out, Kevin then shared with viewers how he came to know about the cameo in advance. In an exciting yet not-that-unsurprising revelation, Smith recounted that it was Kevin Feige himself that called to tell him about the cameo under the veil of complete secrecy.
“A couple months back, after Stan had passed, I got a call from the great Kevin Feige over at Marvel Studios,” Kevin says before recounting the conversation.
“I’ve got to tell you this, but you can’t tell anyone,” Smith recalls Feige saying, “in order to go forward I have to tell you about Stan’s cameo in Captain Marvel."
After Feige recounted the full content of the cameo, Smith admitted that at that point he was emotional with Marvel’s movie maestro. “I cried on the phone with him,” Smith stated. “… are you $hitting me?”
Smith also provides insight that the cameo was filmed a few months prior to Stan Lee’s passing and Lee’s voice was not as strong as it had been in the past. There is the possibility that Universal may have been able to provide outtakes of Stan reading the line from Mallrats to provide the filmmakers with a performance that would properly represent Stan The Man.
Even before this revelation, we were given insight via social media that foreknowledge didn’t soften the impact once Kevin saw the actual cameo.
A Cameo With An Origin Story?
Although the Stan Lee cameos seem to be items that are without backstory, there’s a possible story behind the story that relates to this particular cameo. There is speculation on the Internet that there is a connection between Kevin Smith and the directors of Captain Marvel, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.
In 2006 Kevin Smith had guest-hosted Ebert & Roeper At The Movies as a fill-in for Roger Ebert. During this guest-hosting spot Kevin provided a glowing review for Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s film Half-Nelson. You can view the review here:
Did Boden and Fleck remember Smith’s review and did that help shape Stan Lee’s cameo as a way for the directors to give back to Smith? Even though we don’t yet know the answer to that question it is still a wonderful gem of a cameo given that Captain Marvel is set in 1995, the same year as Kevin Smith’s Mallrats.
What Does This Cameo Mean FOR the MCU?
Stan Lee’s cameo raises some interesting questions about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, aside from cementing the fact that filmmaker Kevin Smith exists there. If this is Stan Lee playing himself and getting ready for his performance in Kevin Smith’s Mallrats, is this version of Mallrats similar to the one we’ve all grown to love or is the Mallrats in Captain Marvel slightly different? It would seem difficult to resolve Stan Lee being the comic creator he was in real life given that his original cameo in Mallrats focuses heavily on Marvel-centric comic book references. Although the MCU has never denied the existence of comic books in the MCU, how could Stan Lee walk around in a world that is home to his own creations?
Thankfully Kevin Feige helps to settle this paradox in our nerd consciousness through comments provided during a press conference for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. "Stan Lee clearly exists above and apart from the reality of all the films,” he responded when asked about Stan’s cameo in the second Guardians film.
So if Stan exists above and apart from the reality of the films, perhaps Captain Marvel’s Stan Lee is more akin to an inter-dimensional traveler who was looking for a nice place to run lines for his upcoming movie appearance while still showing up in his very Watcher Uata like fashion.
Be sure to see this cameo yourself in Marvel’s Captain Marvel, currently in theaters.