Esteemed comic book legend Stan Lee - famed for creating pretty much all of my favorite superheroes, including Spider-Man, the Hulk and Iron Man - has become something of a cameo connoisseur, cropping up (albeit briefly) in almost every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to date.
Check out all of his awesome 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' roles below - how many did you spot?
Suffice to say, these easter egg appearances have become somewhat of a beloved tradition, with eagle-eyed fans constantly on the look out for that iconic white moustache. However, the fabled writer just dropped a huge bombshell that's sure to disappoint the legions of dedicated Stan-spotters out there...
In an interview with Professor Michael Uslan, Lee made a rather troubling remark indicating that the upcoming Ant-Man may well break the long-running cameo custom:
"I was offered one with Michael Douglas actually, a scene with him. But they were shooting it in England and I didn't have the time to go. So I'm not in that movie."
Lee didn't explicitly name the aforementioned movie, but considering Michael Douglas' only Marvel credit belongs to Ant-Man, it's safe to assume we won't be seeing Stan in this year's miniature blockbuster. Bummer, right?
But wait! Before you go giving up all hope on getting a glimpse of the Marvel godfather in action, take a look at a seemingly contradictory past comment he made earlier this year, telling Screen Rant that his cameo was already in the can:
"I’ve already done my cameo for Ant-Man and that’s a pretty good one, too."
So which is it - in or out?! I guess we'll have to wait until until July 17, when the movie releases, to find out for sure.
Where Did the Tradition Come From?
In the same interview, Lee also discusses the origins of the novel idea, which didn't come from him, but was actually started by X-Men director Bryan Singer:
[Singer] said 'Hey, would you like to be in one of the scenes?' So I'm on the beach selling hotdogs when something happens [...] and the next thing I know different directors were asking me.
Check out the full interview below:
Spotting the comic book genius on screen is always a treat, so I hope this doesn't signal the end of Stan's on-screen involvement. What do you think - will we get a peek at that unmistakable bushy 'stache in Ant-Man or not?