Stan Lee Cameo

One of the staples of a Marvel movie is the Stan Lee cameo. He’s been in all the MCU movies to date, all five Spider-Mans, both Fantastic Fours, two X-Mens, Hulk, and Daredevil. But he never shows up as the same character twice… or so we thought.

The Stan Lee theory posits that the Marvel legend has secretly been playing the same character all along –namely Uatu, the Watcher. That, of course, would mean that all the Marvel movies take place in the same universe, even the non-MCU ones. Explore this delightfully bizarre Stan Lee Watcher theory with us after the jump.

The Stan Lee Watcher theory has been floating around for a while already, but Cinema Blend recently brought it to light all over again. If you buy into this idea, Lee is always playing Uatu the Watcher, a character he himself created for the comics in 1963.

Uatu the Watcher has been observing the goings-on of the universe for billions of years, taking careful note of everything that happens. He and his kind aren’t supposed to actually interfere in the affairs of the solar systems they’ve been assigned to watch, but Uatu sometimes does anyway.

That would “explain” how this familiar face always happens to be just where the drama is thickest — because it’s his job to keep up on all the important stuff that’s happening in and around the world. As the Watcher, Lee puts on all sorts of different human personas so he can hang around on the edges of the action, without ever quite diving in himself.

Like any good crackpot theory, the Stan Lee Watcher theory has a few variations floating around. One is that Lee isn’t the Watcher, we are. After all, we are literally watching everything that happens in these films. HitFix has also put forth the tongue-in-cheek explanation that Lee is just a poor guy who’s been driven insane by his tendency to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Obviously, this is all pretty flimsy reasoning. There’s no evidence to indicate the Stan Lee Watcher theory is “true” in the sense that it’s an intentional bit of continuity on the part of various filmmakers. There’s less still suggesting any of the studios that hold Marvel movie rights are planning a massive multi-verse crossover. Really, the strongest argument in favor of it is that there’s no direct evidence proving it can’t be true.

But sure, why not? Maybe the Xavier Institute really is just a Metro North ride away from Stark Tower and Oscorp. After all, these characters already exist in a place where spider bites grant people superpowers and literal gods come down to hang with humans on the reg. In that light, an ancient, ever-changing entity who passively observes isn’t all that weird.

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