Stan Lee’s first theatrical cameo in a Marvel movie was in X-Men in 2000, but his original cameo in Blade from 1998 was cut from the final film. Theories speculate that the Blade cameo was removed because Lee wasn’t involved in the creation of the character or that the adult themes of the movie were deemed too much for Lee to be associated with at the time. Lee’s scene in Blade would have been more than just a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment and was part of a larger list of scenes that were ultimately scrapped from the final cut.

The sheer volume of Stan Lee cameos in Marvel movies (and others) is hard to overstate, but there is one cameo that will tragically never be seen – and it just so happens to be one of his first. Ever since Marvel movies were a thing, Stan Lee has been sure to feature in them. This stands to reason given his importance to the franchise, but his cameos also became a stalwart feature of all MCU movies that would often elicit as much enthusiasm as the main story beats themselves. Unfortunately, the movie that arguably sparked the golden age of superhero movies cut Stan Lee’s involvement entirely.

While all of Stan Lee’s cameos became more prominent over the course of successive movies, his first theatrical appearance was a fleeting one, yet still pretty substantial, though it never aired. Instead, the Stan Lee cameo trend in theatrical releases started in earnest with X-Men in 2000. Following this, the MCU had Stan Lee canonized as the “Watchers Informant,” thereby giving an in-universe explanation for his consistent presence in the MCU timeline. His scene in 1998’s Blade, however, has been consigned to the annals of history.

Related: Every Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie Ranked Worst To Best

Stan Lee’s Lost Blade Cameo Explained

Stan Lee began physically appearing in Marvel media productions with 1989’s The Trial of the Incredible Hulk as a jury foreman, where he witnessed David Banner hulking out before fleeing the scene. His appearances continued with Blade, where he appeared as a cop who discovered the burning body of Quinn before drawing attention to it at the beginning of the movie. Though it was a small part, it would have been more than a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, had it made it to the final cut. There is no official reason as to why Stan Lee’s moment didn’t make it, so all that can be assumed is that it simply didn’t leave the cutting room floor.

Why You’ll Never See Stan Lee’s Missing Marvel Cameo

Stan Lee’s Blade cameo was far from the only scene to be removed from the final cut of Blade. The movie’s original runtime clocked in at 140 minutes before being stripped down to a round 2 hours. While 20 minutes doesn’t seem like much on the face of it, Lee’s scene was just seconds long, and comprised one of many scenes that were scrapped – including an alternate ending that featured Morbius. This scene and many others have since made their way onto the internet, but the Stan Lee cameo has yet to resurface, and at this point likely never will.

Blade was made in 1998, and Stan Lee’s subsequent involvement in Marvel movies make this cut cameo all the more conspicuous, leading to a range of theories regarding why it was removed. Some theories suggest that Lee wasn’t involved in the creation of Blade as a character, thus was cut due to the lack of association, despite being the figurehead for Marvel Comics. Another reason could be that Blade’s adult themes were a little too much for Stan Lee to be associated with in the early days of Marvel movies, as this was during a time where superhero movies were in a more precarious position in many regards, as the genre wasn’t the media empire it was today.

Key Release Dates

The Marvels

Deadpool 3

Captain America: Brave New World

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Blade (2025)

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

 The one Stan Lee Marvel movie cameo that got away.  Read More