Prior to his passing, one of the traditions in every Marvel movie is a cameo appearance from the legendary Stan Lee, the man behind the comic book empire. While the Marvel projects moved forward since then without any appearance from him, there are still a lot of fans who miss seeing him on the screen. Now, it looks like the tradition might continue again in the near future.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Studios has signed a 20-year deal with Stan Lee Universe, a venture between Genius Brands International and POW! Entertainment, that allows them to license the name and likeness of Lee for use in future movies, TV shows, Disney theme parks, various "experiences," and merchandise.
With this new deal, Marvel now has the permission to use Lee’s name, voice, likeness, signature, images, existing footage, and existing audio recordings in their film and TV projects as well as theme parks, cruise lines, and in-park merchandise. However, they cautioned that this does not necessarily mean that Lee will be making a cameo in the MCU movies again in the way fans traditionally knew.
Right now, it's hard to speculate to what kind of extent Marvel Studios will use Lee in their future projects. While it looks like they have no plans to revive him through CGI to make cameo appearances again, we could bet that we might see images of Lee appear in future MCU movies and TV shows whether as an easter egg in the background or in-universe footage.
Fans might have mixed feelings about this news depending on how Marvel will use Lee in their future projects. If they use him in a similar way as Peter Cushing in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, it might rub a wrong way to a lot of them. However, it would be harmless if he'll only appear through images and it's still going to be a respectable tribute to Lee's legacy.
Marvel has not made any official comments yet about how the deal will affect the future of the MCU moving forward, but we should at least expect a return of Lee in some capacity soon.