Spoilers for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse below.
Stan Lee’s cameos in Marvel movies were the stuff of legend. Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe brought critical acclaim to his creations, Stan was mugging in the background shots of X2 like humanity’s fun uncle. Into the Spider-Verse wanted to keep that tradition going, even though the film is animated. “In the beginning, we wanted to give him a real place in the movie and not just a moment — something that was exciting and could honor his legacy and also be funny at the same time,” Chris Miller told Entertainment Weekly. “Obviously it took on a whole added poignancy after his passing, but the spirit of it remains exactly the same.”
Lee voices the owner of a costume shop where Miles Morales buys a Spider-Man suit. In Morales’ universe, Peter Parker is a dead hero, not unlike Lee in this ‘verse. “I’m going to miss him. We were friends, you know,” Lee says to Miles in the film.