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Stan Lee in Guardians 2

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Over the last decade and change of filmmaking, The Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown into a behemoth force in the entertainment world. But a few properties have risen as fan favorites, including James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy. The visionary filmmaker's pair of movies both included a cameo by Stan Lee, and now Gunn has posted a tribute to the late comic book icon on the second anniversary of his death.

Stan Lee is responsible for creating many of Marvel comics' most beloved characters like the X-Men and Spider-Man. Prior to his death in 2018, Lee was known for having a cameo in every single film adaptation from the comic studio, allowing countless directors to work with the late legend. James Gunn had this unique experience twice, and recently posted a sweet tribute to Lee on the second anniversary of his death. Check it out below.

What a class act. While Stan Lee might not have even remembered creating the character Groot back in 1960, we can't really blame him. After all, he was the mind behind countless iconic Marvel characters over the years. But regardless, it's clear that James Gunn loved working with him for his pair of Guardians of the Galaxy cameos. Unfortunately, the upcoming third movie will mark the first installment in the franchise without an appearance by the great Stan Lee. Sorry, true believers.

The above post comes to us from the personal Twitter account of James Gunn. The acclaimed filmmaker often uses social media to speak directly with moviegoers, especially related to his two upcoming comic book movies. While fans are eager to see what Gunn has in store for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, first he'll be focused on completing and releasing The Suicide Squad for DC.

Marvel fans can re-watch both Guardians of the Galaxy movies (complete with Stan Lee cameos) over on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

The image itself shows James Gunn working with Stan Lee during his came in the original Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Lee is rocking some awesome cosmic sunglasses, which were fitted for his costume in the blockbuster. Lee was shown early on in that movie's runtime, talking up a young woman on the ill-fated planet Xander. And that's only the first time the filmmaker had the privilege of directing Lee for his iconic Marvel property.

Stan Lee passed away in November of 2018, just weeks before his 96th birthday. The comic book visionary had a variety of health issues in his later life, including the insertion of a pacemaker and some bouts of pneumonia. His cause of death years ago was was cardiac arrest, as a result of congestive heart failure. And as a result, his final cameo in the MCU was in Avengers: Endgame.

At the time of his death, Stan Lee appeared in a whopping 22 cameos within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But his career on the big screen started prior to the MCU, with appearances in the X-Men movies and the previous two Spider-Man franchises. Plenty of filmmakers have expressed their joy over this, including James Gunn himself. And those myriad cameos are just the one way that Lee's legacy has been secured.

The next installment in the MCU is Black Widow on May 7th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your trips to the movies next year.

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