STAN LEE'S MUTANTS, MONSTERS, & MARVELS Exclusive: Director Scott Zakarin On Being Best Friends With "The Man"

STAN LEE'S MUTANTS, MONSTERS, & MARVELS <font color=red>Exclusive:</font> Director Scott Zakarin On Being Best Friends With "The Man"

To honor the second anniversary of Stan "The Man" Lee's death, we spoke exclusively with Scott Zakarin, who directed Stan Lee's: Mutants, Monsters, & Marvels, about his close friendship with the legend.

Last week marked the second anniversary of Marvel Comics legend Stan "The Man" Lee's passing, and fans and friends of the late creator have been sharing their memories of him, as well as re-visiting old footage of The Generalissimo to pay their respects.

During our recent round of interviews supporting Digital Sky's motion comic sci-fi series Ride Share, we linked up with Producer and Director Scott Zakarin to pick his brain about some of his comic book-related projects. Of course, our conversation soon turned to the subject of Lee, as Zakarin is well-known for working with him on multiple films.

In 2002, a documentary film called Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters, & Marvels released, which featured Kevin Smith (Clerks, Tusk) interviewing Stan. Scott Zakarin put the film together and directed it, and says he wanted it to be a "time capsule" of sorts to preserve a look into Stan's life at the time.

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.

Darth Lexii
You did a movie with Stan Lee, and he said something along the lines of you being one of his heroes, right?

Scott Zakarin
I do remember him saying that. I did a film called Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters & Marvels. He had done some behind the scenes interviews, and he talked about how Kevin Smith and I were his best friends. Stan and I were very close. He would tell me that I was his best friend, which was lovely because I said, "You're not mine." (Laughs)

I directed with Kevin Smith interviewing Stan with what I wanted to be a time capsule. If you want to know what Stan had to say, you can go to the convention's documentaries, which are literally him having conversations with himself. Now, I believe the part where he said that I was his idol is on the cutting room floor, but we spent a lot of time together.

One of the things that I idolized about Stan is - I preferred DC Comics to Marvel Comics growing up, except for Spider-Man. What Stan did was he created the Marvel bullpen, which was a way of getting everybody involved. You can hang out with the Marvel bullpen virtually in the letters column.

What Stan would say is, if somebody is writing to you and his name is Jim, then he would say, "Hey, Jim, I saw your comment about Spider-Man, and it was right on, although I think you missed the fact that Aunt May needed her pills at the time!" That sort of thing formed the basis of interactivity. So when I was doing interactivity, I often thought of that.

Darth Lexii
You mentioned you are a Spider-Man fan, but you lean more towards DC. Do you have a favorite comic book character or memory from when you were first reading comic books?

Scott Zakarin
I was an immediate Superman fan, and I was into the 50's TV show. I have an optimistic outlook on life and the idea of somebody who could do anything and everything but chooses not to. He decides to love Lois Lane, which is why I loved Superman at such an early age.

Spider-Man, I think, is the coolest character that there has ever been. His costume is - there's nobody who has a Spider-Man costume. I wouldn't say I liked it when they changed it in the Avengers movie to The Iron Spider-Man. I'm like, "That's not Spiderman!" I always thought he was the coolest character. I liked the movies too; I think they're cool.

To bring it back to Stan, he invited me to be his date at the Spider-Man premiere, which was pretty cool. We spent five hours in traffic on the way to San Diego Comic-Con in the back of a limo, and we talked about everything, philosophy, God, religion, politics, personal stories, things like that. It was really special.

*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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