Warning: spoilers ahead for the series premiere of The Gifted on Fox.
Stan Lee is legendary nowadays for making appearances in some way or other in most Marvel movies and TV shows. He has played all kinds of roles in the different corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ranging from actual characters to quickie cameos. Lee made an appearance in the series premiere of The Gifted on Fox, which brought live-action X-Men stories to primetime television for the very first time. Now, showrunner Matt Nix has revealed that the Gifted crew had a pretty crazy time actually filming the big cameo. He had this to say:
We moved heaven and earth to get him in there. The morning we got him, one of our co-executive producers texted me in the morning and told me Stan Lee was in town for a comic book convention. We went to the convention to get him on the show, and they told us, 'He flies out at four. If you can shoot him in two hours, then you can have Stan Lee in the show.' We didn't have that location. We didn't have anything. We were just like, 'Okay, it's a bar? Do anything you can. We have to get the bar. We have to get the actor out of bed and bring him down here to put the costume on. We have to shoot the scene in 20 minutes!' We went down there, we shot the scene, Stan Lee was like, 'Thanks very much!' Then he rode off to get on a plane. That's the kind of thing where I think people sometimes underestimate the degree to which we who make the show are just another group of fanboys trying to make something happen by the skin of our teeth.
We've known for a while that Stan Lee himself was set to appear on The Gifted, but not everybody was expecting to see him turn up in the series premiere. It made for a pretty epic way both to launch the series and establish that The Gifted really has a place in the MCU, even if not necessarily in the same universe that we've seen in other Marvel movies and TV shows. If Stan Lee appears in something, it's legit for Marvel. Matt Nix's comments to THR about how the Gifted crew had to pretty much move heaven and earth to make Stan Lee's cameo happen in a brief window of time on short notice indicate that it almost didn't happen. If the stars hadn't aligned perfectly, Stan Lee almost certainly wouldn't have been able to film his cameo.
Of course, Stan Lee's Gifted cameo wasn't his most noticeable to date, and he certainly didn't play a character or even another famous face. Instead, he strolled out of a bar in sunglasses when another person was strolling in. Some viewers might not have even caught it. If you're one of those who didn't see the cameo as it happened, check it out:
You can catch new episodes of The Gifted on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox. If you still need to know when all the other superhero shows are going to be back on the airwaves, we have all the Marvel and DC TV dates you could possibly need on our fall TV premiere schedule. We have a breakdown of all the other Stan Lee cameos to expect in the foreseeable future as well, if you're interested.