Wreck-It Ralph may not have seemed like the best candidate of the 21st century Disney animation films to get a theatrical sequel, but when you think about it, the cyberspace adventure of Ralph Breaks the Internet seems like a pretty natural place to take the story after the retro video gaming of the original.
In any case, the movie is set to hit theaters next Friday and critics are already singing its praises, with the pic currently holding an impressive Rotten Tomatoes score of 92% based on 37 reviews – at the time of writing. But when it does arrive, it’ll also be tinged by a sense of sadness, as it features one of the late Stan Lee’s final cameos.
According to those who’ve seen it, here’s how it goes down:
While being pursued by a pack of Storm Troopers, Vanellope bumps into a digital avatar of Stan Lee (all humans on the internet are portrayed as Nintendo Mii-style figures with rectangular heads). He doesn’t say anything, just looks surprised for a few seconds before disappearing from the frame as the chase continues.
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It doesn’t sound like one of his better appearances then, and it’s unclear if he was even involved in it, but according to co-director Rich Moore, the iconic comic book creator passed away before he got to see it.
“He did not see it,” Moore said in a recent interview. “That scene seems very poignant now on his passing, and it’s very special that we were able to have him as part of our film.”
Meanwhile, co-director Phil Johnston revealed a different idea they had for the cameo, saying:
“For a moment, we had this thing called ‘Marvelize Yourself,’ where the human avatar is able to go through what looks like a metal detector and turn into a Marvel character,” Johnston said. “And as part of that scene, we had Stan Lee go through the Marvelizer. But when we decided to lose that joke and not use the scene, we still wanted to have Stan Lee in the movie, because we love Stan Lee. And we thought it would be appropriate that he does a Stan Lee-type cameo,” added Moore.
Of course, Ralph Breaks the Internet won’t be Stan the Man’s final cameo, as he’s also been confirmed to have shot his appearance in Avengers 4 and presumably, Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home as well. However, it’s certainly among the last few he has coming and as such, moviegoers will no doubt be keeping their eyes peeled for him to show up on screen when they pack into theaters next week.