Death can't stop Stan Lee from showing up in the latest movie featuring his most famous creation.
Lee showed up briefly in Ralph Breaks the Internet and we'll see him in upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, but his Into the Spider-Verse appearance is his first big one since his death on Nov. 12 at 95. Once Upon a Deadpool includes a short tribute to Lee at the end.
Be warned, spoilers follow…
Lost after witnessing the death of original Spidey Peter Parker (Chris Pine), the newly powered Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) seeks out a costume to wear as he takes up the mantle. He buys a cheap knock-off version of Peter's red-and-blue outfit from a costume store and questions if it'll fit.
"It always fits, eventually," says the store's owner, who's played by Lee.
Despite this warm, grandfatherly message (which fits Miles' journey in this movie perfectly) the camera pans to a "no refunds" sign, and his teeth ping to suggest his sleazy salesman ways. However, he still plays a vital role in Miles becoming a hero — the teenager wears this costume for most of the movie.
"In the beginning, we wanted to give him a real place in the movie and not just a moment — something that was exciting and could honor his legacy and also be funny at the same time," producer Chris Miller told Entertainment Weekly of the cameo.
"Obviously it took on a whole added poignancy after his passing, but the spirit of it remains exactly the same."
The movie offers Lee another nod in the middle of the credits, with a quote from him appearing above his signature glasses.
"That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero," it reads.
Another message follows, this time saluting two men who created Spidey.
"Thank You. Stan Lee & Steve Ditko. For telling us we aren't the only ones."
Ditko, the artist who designed the character back in 1962, died over the summer at 90.
Lee's cameo isn't the only tradition this movie follows. It's got an excellent post-credits scene as well.
First published Dec. 12, 9 a.m. PT.
Update, Dec. 18 at 9:48 a.m. PT: Adds Miller quote, details about mid-credits quote.
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