News of the Marvel legend Stan Lee's passing hit the world on Monday, November 12th, triggering an outpouring of emotion from fans and friends all around the world.
Lee's contribution to the comic-book genre shaped the future of superheroes and supervillains forever, creating household names from the Fantastic Four to Captain America and the Avengers to the ever growing Marvel Cinematic Universe we see today. He became renowned for his comical and endearing cameos in Marvel films since the 1980s, having appeared in every instalment of the MCU.
Since his passing, tributes have been left at his Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, with many in the industry paying their respects on social media, but the original six actors from 2012's The Avengers chose to honour Lee in a very special manner.
The group took out an ad in The Hollywood reporter, sharing an emotional message over the Avengers logo that reads: "We acknowledge his creative contribution, the thousands of men and women it has long employed, the millions that will continue to be entertained, and above all, his inimitable wit, grace and humility."
"Stan, we love you, we will miss you, we're grateful to represent a small part of your amazing legacy."
It was signed by Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Chris Evans (Captain America). The ad was shared to Twitter by The Hollywood Reporter's Editorial Director, Matthew Belloni, stating that it would appear on this week's issue.
As part of the Marvel Universe, the actors have gone on to become huge hits for their roles. Their contribution to this ever-growing universe began in Stan Lee's characters, something they acknowledged in their heartfelt message to the late comic book great. Over the course of filming, the cast had become very close not only with each other but also with Lee, and their bittersweet tribute was a beautiful goodbye.
Though Lee is gone, his stories will keep up his legacy forever. It's even possible that we will see Lee a few more times on screen, with cameos filmed already for Captain Marvel and Avengers 4, both out next year, and potentially more to come for films not yet announced... Make sure to follow the films here to get reminded when they cinemas near you.