COMIC BOOK: THE MOVIE Exclusive: Scott Zakarin On Stan Lee's Involvement And His CINDERELLA'S DAUGHTER Cameo

COMIC BOOK: THE MOVIE <font color=red>Exclusive:</font> Scott Zakarin On Stan Lee's Involvement And His CINDERELLA'S DAUGHTER Cameo

While chatting with Comic Book: The Movie producer Scott Zakarin, he told us about teaching Stan Lee the internet and shooting what many people refer to as his "lost cameo" from Cinderella's Daughter!

Even casual movie-goers are familiar with the legend that is Stan Lee due to his many cameos in Marvel films, both MCU and otherwise. Stan also made his fair share of animated cameos in shows that aired decades ago, and even popped up in several video games.

However, the legend's cameos weren't restricted to comic book-related projects. Having been best friends with both Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma) and Scott Zakarin (Digital Sky, The Spot), who created the documentary film Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters, & Marvels, the Generalissimo also made small appearances in their movies.

Most comic book fans know that Stan Lee appeared in Mallrats for Kevin Smith, partly because he was holding his script and uttering his line during one of his final cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel. What many fans may not know, however, is that Stan also popped up in a film called Cinderella's Daughter in which he married two characters and even yelled out his famous line, "Excelsior!"

Scott told us about that cameo as well as Stan's involvement in three of his other projects. One of them was Comic Book: The Movie, which he created alongside Mark Hammil and filmed at Comic-Con. We also dug into his current motion comic project with Digital Sky, Ride Share, created with inspiration from Sin City and the Black Panther BET series.

To listen to our exclusive chat with Zakarin, click the podcast player below. Fans looking to learn more about Stan Lee can also hear about how he filmed his final cameos without sight from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse director Peter Ramsey, which we have included along with this portion of the transcript. Ride Share fans can also find our chats with fellow cast and crew members James Gavsie and Julie Nathanson.

Scott Zakarin
I taught Stan the internet originally. And I remember walking into a room where he had been going over things with some of my employees, and he really had to get close. And he was just on his knees looking like this. (Imitates, laughs) And he was nice to me, you know? He was also in Comic Book The Movie, which was a collection of the best voice-over talent.

Mark Hamill was the director, Billy West was one of the leads, who does all of Futurama's voices, Jess Harnell who does every voice, including the Animaniacs, and I had Tom Kenny who was SpongeBob. Those were the stars of the film. Then we mix that in with all of these icons because we shot a lot of it at Comic-Con. Our interactivity was we did scenes of the movie at Comic-Con, where we had a gigantic panel, but we were also shooting our scenes there. 

I think I was most surprised that Stan was there for me. I started something called the Entertainment Asylum with AOL many years ago, and Stan was the first person who said, "I'll be on, and I'll do your first interview." When we had the premiere, I walked in, and they said, "Oh, by the way, you have a friend in the office waiting for you." And Stan was there. He spoke to the reporters for me and things like that. I think that's the thing I remember most. He was there for me, and I tried to do the same. By the way, he's been in four movies of mine.

He has one cameo in a movie nobody has ever seen, but there is a clip on my YouTube video page. It was called The Adventures of Cinderella's Daughter. He played the priest who married Cinderella to her Prince. Next to [my agent], he is the closest person I've ever been to. 

There's a video of that on my youtube channel. It started when I was 17 years old, so that was at least forty years ago. I was making vlogs. It got my video camera, and I was vlogging. I would use it for class instead of taking a test or writing a paper; I would do things like that. And then I'd have the class interact with it. I have been doing it since the beginning, and I was also on CompuServe. Before AOL, we had Prodigy and CompuServe, and they both had bulletin boards. 

Literary Joe
I want to focus on the motion comic aspect of Ride Share. When I talked to James Gavsie, he had mentioned that the BET Black Panther series was a big inspiration for the motion comic style. Can you name any of your other sources of inspiration for the look and style?

Scott Zakarin
I used to say we were a less grungy hideous version of Sin City. There is the same sort of black and white style and imagery. Frank Miller, who is a freaking genius, we pay homage to, and a lot of those people too as well. We have a part where they go to the Getty Museum for the Frank Miller exhibit, and the show is set in 2023. Otherwise, I'd have to have everybody wearing masks.

I didn't want to pan and scan comic books. We wanted it to be its own thing. Not just because we wanted it to be its own thing alone, but because that appealed to us. It's not panning over panels and stuff like that. It's treating it like a visual comic book. Our artists, Chris Warren, our animator, and Ian Moss, who has been our artist for this season, make it look so pretty. Our goal was we know that our audio is bringing the movie into your head, and it's something all on its own. I hope that people listen to the audio first like they would read a book first. And then get an opportunity to go and visualize it and see how it matches. See what the different experiences are like because they are both experiences. I wrestled with the idea of motion comics versus the concept of a graphic experience. We still don't have it nailed down, but graphic motion comics is the only thing people are familiar with so far. We are trying to create something that has never been seen before. That's been my career. I've always been one step ahead of the cutting edge. Through a forty-year career of making stuff, that's been one of the places where I've had a lot of arrows in my back. 

Digital Sky started as an anthology series because we've got ten pilots. The inspiration for it was the original Twilight Zone. Let's come up with an exciting story and a twist. I'm a massive fan of Black Mirror, which had its feel to it. But the idea was to find which are the ones that really resonate and which are the ones that have a story to tell that continues to be relevant. We'll have Ride Share the following season because it's doing really well. In the weeks since we've launched it, all of our numbers have multiplied. We will take some of the other pilots that resonated, and we're going to do series based on those as well.

Ride Share is pretty specifically scripted. We have been working with the kind of actors who are the best voice talent out there. When you get that, you get improvisation—particularly Julie Nathanson, who plays Amanda. There will be three great lines in the script that are the best in it, and she ended up writing it on her feet. Those things happened often. Because we write these in real-time, there is flexibility from adding in the real world. That's part of the interactivity, but there's also that opportunity to change things with the audience. We have a group called the "inskyders," and we get a feel from them with what's working online and so forth. If I had written this as a screenplay, the ending would be nothing like what it's going to be. I believe they are much better. The only problem is I'm always writing. We are either writing or editing, or directing. I have a fantastic team, but ultimately, I do a lot of not sleeping at the end of the day. 

I've never watched the shows before. I've never listened to them. I worked with Shatner for a while, doing WilliamShatner.com. We actually won the first Streamy ever awarded. I asked him, what is your favorite episode? And he's like, I don't know. I don't watch them. I go, but you have to when you go to screenings and things that. And he said when I have to go to the screenings, that's when I see them. I don't think Shatner would have any problem with me saying that.

*This interview has been edited for clarity.*


 

 
Follow the weekly adventures of enigmatic con-man, Keith, a dangerous stranger capable of anything. As Keith uses a Ride Share app to find his next mark, his journey takes him from car to car, meeting interesting characters along the way.

You can currently check out the motion comic podcast Ride Share here.

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