Stan Lee and Avi Arad on Marvel Movies

Stan Lee and Avi Arad kicked off the panels this morning at Wizard World Anaheim, promoting Stan’s new manga book “Ultimo.” Fielding questions from fans, Lee and Arad had a few tidbits in regards to upcoming Marvel films.

When asked about whether a Ryan Reynolds Deadpool film was really moving forward, Arad responded with, “It’s a good rumor,” before offering his thoughts on the recent decision to have Joss Whedon helm The Avengers.

“My personal opinion is that Joss will do a fantastic job,” said Arad, “He loves these characters and is a fantastic writer… It’s part of his life so you know he is going to protect it… I expect someone like him is going to make the script even better.”

Another fan asked about an Iron Fist movie, citing Ray Park’s public desire to play the lead.

“The way I feel about our public?” said Stan, proudly, “You want an ‘Iron Fist’ movie? You’ll get an ‘Iron Fist’ movie.”

Chuckling, he then turned to Arad and added, “They’re not going to remember when it doesn’t come out.”

At the top of Stan’s own list for film adaptation is one particular master of mystic arts.

“Doctor Strange,” he said, “…they will [get to it] pretty soon.”

Listing Michael Chiklis’ turn as The Thing in the two “Fantastic Four” films as his absolute favorite bit of Marvel casting, Stan Lee also briefly discussed Chris Evans playing two different Marvel movies roles, both the Human Torch and Captain America.

“It seems a little bit strange to me,” he admitted, “but he’s a terrific actor and has a great personality… [but when it comes to playing both] I’m glad I’m not the producer… The problem is that some other movie companies have the rights to some of the characters but, after a few years, Marvel will get them all back… sooner or later they will get [a single movie universe], absolutely.”

On the comic book front, someone asked Stan if there were any Disney characters he’d like to write now that Disney owns Marvel. He was quick to say that he’d like to do something with the characters from “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

“They probably figure there’s nothing left to do,” he said with his trademark wink, “but I’d figure something out.”

“I think that Disney buying Marvel is one of the best things that could have happened,” added Stan, “There’s nothing to worry about. You’re not going to see Iron Man with mouse eyes. The guys at Disney are almost as smart as I am!”

Back on the Marvel film front, Stan assured that his cameos will continue as long as the moves do and, joking that, if anything, he should be appearing in other movies, even ones with characters he didn’t create.

“I’m jealous of everything I’m not involved in,” he said with mock indignation, “I’m jealous of ‘Kick-Ass.’ Where was I when I this came out?”

After the panel, SuperHeroHype caught up with Stan backstage where he elaborated on a number of topics that he touched upon at the panel.

Q: Can you talk a little about how Wizard World Anaheim is treating you so far?

Lee: Well, I wish it was in Los Angeles. I wouldn’t have had to drive an hour and fifteen minutes, but other than that, it’s great.

Q: Can you talk a little more on your thoughts of Disney buying Marvel?

Lee: Oh, it’s gonna be so good for Disney. We’re gonna put that company on the map. We really are. They made the wisest move. It wasn’t easy. They had to beg us a little, but we finally agreed to team up with them. I have high hopes for Disney. I’m really going to love it.

Q: What are you looking at working on?

Lee: Everything. Movies, television, DVDs. Whatever there are. We have a number of movies in development with them now. We have something called “Time Jumper. “You may have heard of it. We’re working on some television projects. We want to keep Disney busy. We don’t want any idle hands on that lot.

Q: You mentioned at the panel that Marvel had “taken a bite” of out POW!. What did you mean by that?

Lee: Oh, they bought ten percent of our company.

Q: Can you talk about your “Thor” and possibly “Captain America” cameos?

Lee: I’ve done my Thor cameo. I haven’t done the Captain America one. I don’t think they’ve started that yet. I had lunch with a young director, [Edgar Wright]. He’s real good. He’s gonna do the “Ant-Man” movie. So I expect to get a cameo there, of course.

Q: How long ago did you meet with Edgar?

Lee: It must have been six months ago that we had lunch. I don’t think that’s already scheduled, but they had asked him to direct it and he was thrilled about it. He wanted to talk to me about it. That was the last I heard, but they can only do so many movies at a time. I imagine “Ant-Man” is on the list somewhere.

Q: He’s a small guy. He’s easy to fit in.

Lee: Very good. But you leave those remarks to me.

Q: Is your cameo in “Thor” as a man or as a god?

Lee: I love that question; “Stan, are you a man or are you a god.” I’m a man. I was hoping that I would be Odin, but you know they’re so short-sighted.

Q: Any word on a cameo in “The Avengers” yet?

Lee: No, I haven’t spoken to anyone yet. They’re still casting it and putting it together.

Q: What do you think of Joss Whedon coming on as director?

Lee: I think it’s wonderful. The man is so talented. He’s really great. He’s gonna do a good job.

Q: He’s said many times how inspired he was by you.

Lee: The man owes me the greatest debt. That’s so obvious.

Q: How do you feel about the “Spider-Man” franchise getting the reboot?

Lee: It’s interesting. We’ll have to see how it turns out. But the guys in charge know so much about Spider-Man and they’re so good at what they do that they’re gonna make the right decision.

Q: Have you met the new director, Marc Webb?

Lee: No, I haven’t yet.

Q: What do you think of “Spider-Man” getting a director named Webb?

Lee: (Laughs) Maybe that’s why they hired him. It’ll give a lot of people things to write about. But I don’t worry. Kevin Feige is the producer there and all the other people at Marvel Studios are smart. They know the characters. They’re gonna do what the fans are gonna do. At the last resort, they’re gonna do what you guys are gonna do, let’s say. We’ll see.

Q: Are there any Marvel films you’d like to see rebooted?

Lee: Maybe the Hulk a little bit. Maybe. I’d like them to bring Daredevil back and try it again. I’ve always liked that character.

Q: Why the Hulk?

Lee: I think the Hulk should have been even a bigger hit than he was. Maybe if they have a third go-round he will be. I mean, he did well, but he should have been a smash.

Q: He’ll probably be in “The Avengers,” though, right?

Lee: Oh, I’m sure.

Q: Can you say what character you’d like to see next?

Lee: I love them all. I’m very easy to please.

Q: You mentioned Doctor Strange at the panel. What would you like to see there?

Lee: I’d like to see a great movie come out of it. Doctor Strange is somewhat different from all the others. With the nightmares and the other conventions, it’ll give them a chance to have some great special effects and a slightly different type of hero.

Q: You introduced “Time Jumper” last year at San Diego. What’s happening with that?

Lee: Disney is, right now, considering where to go next with it. It could be a television series. It could be a DVD. It could be a movie. They’re really reading about it and we’re in discussion. A year from now, we’ll be talking about it in very excited terms.

Q: And “Ultimo” is a new project for you as well.

Lee: I was amazed. The new issue of “Ultimo” just came out in pocket book size. They sold out here in a minute and half and everyone was clamoring for more. I think it’s going to be a big hit. It’s a big hit in Japan. I didn’t know how it would do here. Judging by the fans reaction here, it should do good. I’m not really a great judge. I’m not fluent in Japanese. But it’ll do great if it does as well as I think it’s gonna do. And we have an animated cartoon in Japan that’s being done called “Hero Man” and that looks like a big hit there and some networks are interested in bringing it here in the states… We have “Hero Man” and we have “Ultimo” and I have high hopes. I live in hope.

Q: Are there any other new ideas that you’re developing right now that you can comment on?

Lee: One thing. We have something called “Yin and Yang.” “The World of Yin and Yang” and it’s going to be a live-action show. When we finally get it done, it’s going to be bigger than the Cirque du Soleil. It’s going to be BIG. We’re starting to work on it in the Orient, in Asia and it’ll come over here. It’s a live show with special effects and music. It’s going to be the most magnificent thing that has ever been seen, not on the stage but in an arena!

Q: Speaking of live shows, they’re still developing Spider-Man for Broadway. Have you seen anything of the progress there?

Lee: I don’t really know where that stands. But they haven’t given up… I think it will be done. They just have to find the right formula and a way to make money out of it because the first time they figured that if they had a sold out show for the next five years, they’d still lose money because it was costing so much. They have to figure out their finances.

Q: What do you think of your likeness being used in “Ultimo”?

Lee: They had fun doing that and I’m kind of flattered. They always make me look better and younger.

Q: Do you know what you’ll be doing in San Diego this year?

Lee: No, I have no idea. I never know. I didn’t know what I was going to be doing here. They tell me, “you’re going to this convention,” and I walk in stumbling and bumbling and they push me into a room to do a panel and say, “go over here and sign something,” or “alright, we’ve had enough of you, go home.” I hope they’ll be saying that soon because I’ve got stuff to do at home.

Q: You recently did a video campaigning for a “Best Cameo” Oscar. How did that come about?

Lee: Wasn’t that great? Funny as hell… The guys at Funny or Die came to me. I can’t say no. Anything that has to do with being in front of a camera, I love it.

Q: Have you talked to Syfy about any other projects?

Lee: I think we have something we’re presenting to them, but I can’t remember what it is. And I can’t talk about it. I can never talk about anything because the network or the movie studio wants to make the first announcement.

Q: In “Iron Man 2,” you’re playing Larry King. Has Larry King said anything to you about it?

Lee: He’ll probably shoot me if he sees me. That wasn’t my idea, you know. I was just going to be a guy in a crowd who says hello to Robert Downey Jr. as he walks by. Then, all of a sudden, the director, Jon Favreau says, “Wait! I’ve got an idea! Give Stan a pair of horn-rimmed glasses and suspenders.

Q: Did you shave for the part? Larry King doesn’t have a mustache.

Lee: He didn’t seem to care. Let Larry King grow a mustache! I’m not shaving mine off.

Q: What did Hugh Hefner think of your cameo in the first one?

Lee: I think he got a kick out of it. How could he not? Especially since I look so much better than him. He was glad to see such a handsome guy playing his role. But I was lucky because I had three girls and the director kept saying, “Hold them closer!” And they must have taken an hour to shoot it. First from this angle and then from that angle. The four of us were almost engaged by the time we were finished. There was one thing where, originally, to look like Hefner, they wanted me to have a pipe in my mouth. The girl’s faces were so close. So, couldn’t imagine how close they were. When Robert Downey Jr. was supposed to walk by behind me, I was supposed to turn around. The first time I did it with a pipe in my mouth, I turned and the pipe hit her. So that was kind of funny. But we decided after I hit her to get rid of the pipe.

Q: So what are you going as Larry this time around?

Lee: I’m not supposed to tell anybody. But, if you think it’s dumb, it wasn’t my idea. If it’s clever, I’m glad I thought of it.

Source: Silas Lesnick