The Simpsons was barred from featuring an animated Stan Lee cameo in the new Loki parody special, citing a new policy from Marvel that the late creator's cameos are over now that he's passed away. Famously, Lee had shown up in nearly every Marvel movie over the past two decades, typically to provide a dose of comic relief in a brief cameo appearance. Lee died in 2018 at the age of 95, and his final cameos were seen in Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame the next year.
Looking back at Lee's history of cameos in Marvel projects, there were tentative plans at The Simpsons to include him in The Good, The Bar, and The Loki, a new animated special lampooning the MCU. Because Lee had previously done voiceover work for the show, the idea was to see if any of that could be used to fit him into the story somehow. As producer Al Jean has since told ComicBook.com, Marvel Studios intervened at that point, as the new policy at the company is that Lee won't be used for any more cameos.
"Only one time [did Marvel intervene]. It wasn't a joke. We just thought, 'Oh, we have Stan Lee audio from when he was on our show, could we cameo him in? And they said that their policy is he doesn't cameo now that he's passed away, which is a completely understandable policy. That was their only note and that was, of course, easily done. And the Grogu note [for the Star Wars-themed short] made total sense, too. It was like, if you let everybody use Grogu in their stuff that wanted to, it would be all over. Believe me, I respect that these franchises have a great power beyond ours. I respect it."
Of Grogu, Jean is referring to The Force Awakens From Its Nap, a separate animated short that takes aim at Star Wars. The producer previously revealed that the Simpsons team was told not to overuse Grogu from The Mandalorian to help keep the popular character special, so that's why the "Baby Yoda" character wasn't featured prominently. That short began streaming on Disney+ on May the 4th, also known as Star Wars Day.
In 2002, Lee voiced himself in the season 13 episode of The Simpsons called "I Am Furious Yellow." He later officiated Comic Book Guy's wedding in the 2014 episode "Married to the Blob." His final appearance on The Simpsons came in 2017 for the episode "The Caper Chase," which had a couch gag imagining the Simpson family as X-Men superheroes. Appearing very briefly in the segment, Lee says, "There is nothing too short that I can't cameo."
Cameo appearances might be over, but that doesn't mean that Easter eggs honoring Stan Lee can't be found in new Marvel projects. Many fans noticed a subtle reference in WandaVision with a car's license plate reading Lee's birth date. In any case, his presence in the MCU is badly missed.
The Good, The Bart, and The Loki is currently streaming on Disney+ along with more than 30 seasons of The Simpsons. This news comes to us from ComicBook.com.