There are a lot of things that tie the Marvel Cinematic Universe together and one of them are the cameos by the legendary Stan Lee. One of my favorite theories is that he is actually The Watcher, which is a fun thing to think about but probably not the case.
As in all the other MCU film, Lee will cameo in Doctor Strange. Anyone who had the chance to see the 15 minute sneak peek knows what that cameo will be but there’s a twist: it wasn’t shot by Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson. Here’s who helmed the scene, according to Derrickson (via Entertainment Weekly):
It’s a big deal for a 93-year-old man to go to a movie set and spend a day shooting. James shot four cameos with Stan in one day. James was texting me the frame. Does this look right? Does this look good?
After that report came out James Gunn commented on it on Facebook and added a further wrinkle.
It was definitely one of the most fun times I’ve ever had on set. There are few people in this world I love and admire more and have more fun with than Stan Lee. Even though he does love breaking my, and everyone else’s balls (I introduced him to Tom Holland for the first time and he said, “Everyone says you’re great! Personally, I don’t see it.”). Although, to be honest, I think I only did THREE cameos – one was shot by someone else. My third probably isn’t what you think it is.
If you’ve seen the Doctor Strange cameo, it was one of MANY versions I shot on the day, and Scott Derrickson chose the final one. If I’m writing for Stan, why give him one line when I can give him a thousand? I just kept throwing lines at him one after the other, until we were all doubled over with laughter. Someday, after you’ve seen the movie, maybe Marvel Studios will let me share some of those with you. And hopefully you’ll see the movie next week – in IMAX, where it’s definitely best seen.
So we know that Gunn shot the Doctor Strange cameo and almost certainly the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cameo, but I wouldn’t assume that he necessarily shot the cameo for Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is the next film after Guardians 2. My guess is that he shot the cameo for Thor: Ragnarok (since that is being shot in Australia), while the Spider-Man cameo was probably helmed by its director Jon Watts who was shooting in Atlanta where Guardians 2 was also shot and where I assume the cameos were directed.
With five films left in Phase three to cameo in, I suspect that Lee will shoot all of them in the next year or two in the same way. I wonder who will direct those, but my best guess is it may land on Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed.