New Cinematic Universe From Stan Lee in the Works

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Credit: Marvel Studios

According to reports, Director Timur Bekmambetov is developing a new cinematic universe based on horror comics from Stan Lee. The Wanted (2008) helmer and his production house Bazlevs are teaming with ZQ Entertainment and Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment to bring some of Mr. Lee’s latter-day horror genre stories to life on the big screen.

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Credit: Marvel Studios

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Deadline broke the exclusive news on the development deal that will turn some of Stan Lee’s post-Marvel comic book stories into a live-action film franchise. Director Bekmambetov said of the newly inked agreement:

“There is no other mastermind who has created more successful entertainment than Stan Lee. I’m excited to bring to the screen the darker side of his creative genius and imagination.”

stan lee
Credit: Marvel

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Stan Lee is beloved the world over for his prolific contributions to pop culture — co-creating with Stev Ditko and Jack Kirby celebrated characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, the X-Men, Black Panther, and countless others. While known for his trailblazing in the superhero genre, the stories in development — Sawbones and Carnival of Killers — are decidedly horror fare.

stan lee, bob chapek
Credit: D23

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Sawbones description (via Deadline):

“Sawbones follows a frail 12-year old, Alex Covin, who reads a mysterious comic book and is transported into the comic’s terrifying world: a haunted Juvenile Detention Center overrun by demonic forces led by Sawbones, a homicidal entity who preys upon the troubled inmates. Has Alex gone insane? Or is this nightmarish world his new reality? If he is to escape, Alex must find a way to defeat Sawbones, but he quickly comes to realize that Sawbones is the keeper of his darkness and the personification of all his fears.”

Stan Lee, Captain America, Civil War
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Carnival of Killers description (via Deadline):

“Carnival of Killers, set amid the Dust Bowl storms that ravaged the American Great Plains in the 1930s, centers around a young girl with psychic abilities who senses that the traveling carnival she and her mother sought refuge in is ground zero for a looming alien invasion.”

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Credit: Universal Pictures

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Bekmambetov is known for directing Wanted (2008), starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman. The film was adapted from a comic book series of the same name from Ultimates creator, Mark Millar. Wanted was a box office success and snagged two Academy Award noms.

Stan Lee in Marvel Movies

This news comes just months after Marvel Studios confirmed Stan Lee — who passed away in 2018 at the age of 98 — would not be making posthumous cameos in Marvel Cinematic Universe films as he has done since 2008’s Iron Man. No digital Stan Lee or repurposed footage of the legendary comic book mastermind will find its way into an MCU film moving forward.

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Credit: Marvel Studios

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Stan Lee co-founded POW! Entertainment in 2001 after leaving Marvel as a creative to work on new comic book stories and mixed media projects unrelated to the House of Ideas. Lee still maintained a relationship with Marvel for many years as a salaried brand ambassador and, of course, Marvel Studios’ go-to cameo guy.

Credit: D23

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Stan Lee first cameoed as a Hugh Hefner-type opposite Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man (2008), and his final appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe came in Avengers: Endgame (2019). While the cameo as a digitally de-aged 1970s hipster was a posthumous appearance, the scene was shot before Stan Lee’s death.

Are you excited to see a horror film franchise from the mind of Stan Lee? Let us know in the comments!


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