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Interview: Stan Lee Talks LEGO MARVEL’S AVENGERS, Marvel Movies, And More!

LEGO Marvel’s Avengers seems poised to be one of the most insane Marvel video games to date, and we mean that in a good way! The game pulls characters and stages from The Avengers,  Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

In addition to putting players in control of all of the primary Avengers, several lesser known playable Marvel characters are also included in the game: Dr. Druid, Squirrel Girl, Ms. America Chavez, and Iron Stan?!

That’s right, True Believers! Stan Lee will be a playable character, both as himself and in superpowered Iron Man style armor. Lee is also providing his voice for the game, which includes appearances in cut scenes inspired by the Avengers movies.

Recently, Nerdist was invited to visit the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, California, where Lee recorded his lines for LEGO Marvel’s Avengers. For well over an hour, Lee displayed remarkable energy for a 92 year old man. Lee is one of the last living legends in comics, and he is the co-creator of several of Marvel’s greatest superheroes, including Spider-Man and the Avengers.

For the most part, Lee went through his lines effortlessly. But, there was one line that gave him a lot of trouble. Lee was happy to repeat which line he had struggled with when we spoke with him shortly after the recording session had ended.

Nerdist: Stan, did you have fun recording your lines today?

Stan Lee: I love recording lines. It’s like being an actor without having to really act.

N: Did you have any favorite lines that you recorded today?

SL: Well there was a line that was very funny. “Pew pew.” I didn’t quite know how to say it. [laughs] It was fun.

Iron Stan

N: I particularly liked your lines as Iron Stan.

SL: Oh yeah, I loved being Iron Man in the Iron suit. Or, Iron Stan, I should say. The only thing is I was only saying it. You’d think that they’d have an Iron suit for me to put on in order to get into the spirit of the thing, but I was disappointed.

N: Did you get to see the Iron suit that they designed for you in the game?

SL: No, I haven’t seen that yet.

N: They tell me that it has your mustache on the helmet.

SL: No kidding! You mean it looks a little like me?

N: That’s what I was told.

SL: Oh wow. Well, I gotta make sure I get a copy of that.


N: There is also a Stanbuster suit. For that costume, they gave you an oversized pencil, a typewriter and a coffee mug.

SL: I’m excited about it. I’m thrilled! I never thought that people would be making figures of me in different versions.

N: Marvel’s LEGO The Avengers covers both The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Did you have a favorite moment from either of those movies?

SL: Not really. I loved it all. My problem is I don’t see and hear that well, so when I go to the movies, I can make out what’s going on, but I can’t hear what they’re saying. And after the movie, I have to ask whoever I’m with “now, what was that all about?” [laughs] But I love looking at them. They move so beautifully, the actors are so great. Everything looks so exciting. It’s amazing what these superhero movies have become.

N: If you could be any Avenger, which one would you choose?

SL: Oh, I guess I’d want to be Iron Man, because he’s the best looking one, the richest one. The women all love him, and he’s the glamorous one. Yeah, he’d have to be my favorite. Well, not necessarily my favorite, but the one I want to be.

LEGO Stan Lee

N: How do you feel about your role in the creation of this game?

SL: What I did here today, I really enjoyed. I can’t wait to see this when it all gets put together.

N: You’ve done some video game voiceovers before. Do you remember any of your other video game experiences?

SL: I love all the voiceovers I do. I can’t remember them all, but I seem to do them all of the time. And there’s nothing easier because you just stand and read the script, and you don’t have to act the way actors do. You don’t have to be made up and put costumes on.

In fact, it’s funny about that. I did a cameo once. I remember I came to the studio wearing jeans and white sneakers and a blue shirt. And I went into wardrobe “I’d like you to put on these jeans, and white sneakers, and blue shirt.” I said “I’m already wearing that!” And they said, “no, you’ve got to wear our jeans, and white sneakers, and blue shirt!” [laughs]

I thought it was a little silly that I had put on exactly what I was wearing, but provided by somebody else.

N: I remember one of my personal favorites from your video game voiceovers. You provided the narration for the Spider-Man video game 15 years ago on the first Playstation. I really enjoyed that.

SL: I’m glad to hear that. I don’t even remember it. I’ve done so many that they all homogenize in my mind, but it was 15 years ago?

N: Yes.

SL: Oh…I wouldn’t have guessed that I was doing these for that long. That must have been the first one.

N: What are your thoughts on the current state of the comic book industry?

SL: The comic book industry has turned into the wellspring for all of these movies that are all based on the comic books. So, the movies have made the comic books much more valuable and more respected because people go to see the Avengers and then they realize that there are Avengers comics. Now some of them start reading the comics. Movies help the sales of the comics.

The comics of course, help the movies, because all of the comic fans want to see the movies. And the most amazing thing about it is these movies seem to appeal to young people, to old people, and to people all over the world. They’re as popular in China and Latin America as they are here. That’s really amazing and gratifying.

N: What do you think about the shift towards digital comics?

SL: I don’t know. It may be that comic books eventually go the way of horses and carriages. It may be that digital comics become the new thing. I don’t know. But I do know that people enjoy reading a comic book and saving it and collecting the comics. And sharing them and trading them with friends. That may be something you can’t do as easily with digital comics.

Maybe there will always be a market for the regular comic books because you can read [them] at your own pace. You can save them, collect them, [then] go back and read them again. There’s just something that feels nice about holding a comic book!

N: Did you ever think that superhero movies would become so common that we actually had an Ant-Man movie and a Fantastic Four film in the same summer?

SL: Never. When we were doing these comic books years ago, we just hoped that they’d sell enough that we could pay the rent and keep our jobs. The idea that they’d once be the bestselling movies in the whole movie industry…and they’d be world famous and worldwide…never in a million years did we suspect that. In fact, I was too dumb to save any of the old comic books or the old artwork. I used to give them away.


N: This year’s Fantastic Four movie last summer wasn’t as successful as the previous films. Do you think that franchise can be turned around?

SL: The Fantastic Four are great characters. If the movie sales were slightly disappointing then the next movie will be better. The next book will be better. You can’t kill a good comic book series.

N: What other Marvel heroes would you like to see on the big screen who haven’t gotten there yet? Because you’ve got Black Panther, Inhumans, and so many others that no one could have predicted on the way.

SL: Now I figure they’re all gonna make it. I can’t wait for Doctor Strange. I’m sure he’ll be next. And as you say, the Black Panther, the Inhumans, perhaps another Silver Surfer. We’ll use them all. They’re doing Deadpool now.

N: Are you going to be doing a cameo for that one?

SL: I hope so. I hope I do one for all of them. And I just did a cameo for the X-Men.

N: Oh, awesome!

SL: Yeah, the new X-Men. You mustn’t miss that.

N: What else are you currently working on?

SL: Oh, everything. I have a company called Pow Entertainment, and we’re working on some motion pictures and television series. We have a TV series now being filmed in England. It’s called Lucky Man, and it’s about a guy who has the power of luck. I think it will start airing in January. We’re very excited about that, and we have a number of movies that are in the works now in various stages.

N: Which of your movies are closest to coming soon?

SL: You never know. They’re all in the works. Some of them, we’re doing the casting. Some of them, we’re doing the scripts. Some of them we’re gonna do the script over again, and some of them we’re not sure if the cast… it goes on forever. I’m used to doing comic books, where every month there’s a new comic book! I find that the movie business is not quite the same. It doesn’t move quite as fast.

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice

N: Has there ever been a comic book character that you wished you had created?

SL: Not really. I enjoyed reading Batman, and Superman, and all the super ones, but I never wished I created them. I’ve got to let there be some work for other people!

N: Some of the Batman fans were upset when you recently picked Superman as the winner of their big screen fight next year.

SL: I don’t know how Batman could win, if it’s just a fight. Nothing can hurt Superman, and he can do everything. I’m sure they’ll come up with some clever gimmick. Maybe they’ll have kryptonite to weaken Superman.

N: Can Iron Stan defeat Superman?

SL: I’d like to feel that if it’s all just stories that we’re writing then Iron Stan could beat anybody!

Comic and gaming fans, are you excited about LEGO Marvel’s Avengers? Let us know in the comments section below!

Featured Image Credit: The LEGO Group/Marvel Entertainment

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