There’s nothing more meta than when an author/creator appears in an adaptation of their work. While many movie cameos have this element, the self-referential equivalent of God (disguised as a bystander) showing up to say hello is the most revered. These sorts of moments can be emotional: funny, joyful, or even bittersweet. It's Hollywood’s way of winking at the audience and saying, “Your favorite book is in faithful hands - even the author approves."
Stan Lee famously made a habit of appearing in pretty much every Marvel film ever made. When he passed in 2018, fans had yet to see him in blockbusters like Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame. His respective roles as “passenger on train” and “driver” further cemented his legacy, immortalizing his contribution to the comic book industry. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, simple cameos can mean a lot. Perhaps this is why droves of writers have taken the time to give their stamp of approval, show support, or just have some fun on set. Check out some of the most memorable author/creator cameos below - and remember to vote up your favorites.
- Photo: Doctor Strange / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Stan Lee seemed to have a blast with his cameos, and he was reportedly proud of every one of them. As a comic book writer, editor, publisher, and producer, Lee was Marvel’s primary creative lead for decades; he’s one of the reasons Marvel is one of the biggest names in the entertainment industry today.
Part of the fun of watching Marvel superhero movies was awaiting another Stan Lee cameo. Beginning with the 1986 made-for-TV movie The Trial of The Incredible Hulk, Lee has appeared in roughly 22 films taking place within the MCU, six within Fox’s X-Men universe, the five Sony Spider-Man films, the Fantastic Four movies, and countless other one-offs.Cool creator cameo?
- Photo: IT Chapter Two / Warner Bros.
Not unlike Stan Lee, horror novelist Stephen King likes to show up in adaptations of his work (as well as movies/television in general), stretching back to the 1976 adaptation of Carrie.
Recently, King played the shopkeeper of an antique store in It Chapter Two, a cameo that followed in the footsteps of his appearances as a pharmacist in Thinner, a minister in Pet Sematary, and a diner patron in the Season 2 premiere of Under the Dome (based on his 2002 novel of the same name), among many others.Cool creator cameo?
- Photo: Columbia Pictures
Author R.L. Stine wrote the beloved '90s children’s horror series Goosebumps. The quasi-adaptation Goosebumps doesn’t focus on adapting any one entry in the series. Instead, the film stars Jack Black as a fictionalized version of Stine who encounters the monsters (previously) imprisoned in his books.
The real-life Stine cameos as a high school teacher named Mr. Black, who bumps into Jack Black (AKA himself) near the end of the film. So, Black plays Stine and Stine plays Black. That’s not confusing at all...Cool creator cameo?
- Photo: 20th Century Fox
Rob Liefeld is a comic book creator who rose to fame conceiving characters like Cable and Wade Wilson, AKA Deadpool. In addition to Stan Lee attending a gentlemen's club in Deadpool, Liefeld shows up as a boozer at Weasel’s bar. According to Liefeld, his background performance was originally supposed to be much more dramatic:
Funny thing is originally Buck was stabbing me in the hand, I agreed to it, I thought it would be a funny joke (to) get a knife through my hand, my drawing hand.Cool creator cameo?