Stan Lee is about to get way more than a small cameo in his own project. The comic book great will not only create but star in a trilogy of animated movies for The Hub Network that will feature his cartoon likeness aiding and instructing a bunch of alien superheroes.
Unveiled Saturday at Lee’s Comikaze Convention in Los Angeles, SLAM 7 — short for Stan Lee and the Mighty Seven — will also star actors Armie Hammer (The Social Network), Christian Slater (My Own Worst Enemy), Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives), Mayim Bailik (The Big Bang Theory), Darren Criss (Glee), Sean Astin (The Hobbit) and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers as a group of superheroes from outer space. The story begins with Lee desperately looking for a new comic book idea to create when he happens upon the spaceship’s arrival in the desert.
“Here I am, the world’s only witness to a spaceship that crashed,” Lee told EW exclusively. “As I get closer to it, timidly I might add, I see people getting out of it. They survived the crash. And there are seven aliens. They look kind of human, but each one has a specific super power. What happens is that I ask them if they would let me write about them. If they would work with me, I would make them superheroes here on Earth and I want exclusive rights to their story. I’ll write all the things that they do. And they say okay. And I run back to John Goldwater and I’m so happy. But what I didn’t realize is a government agency also saw them land and they’re out to get them because they want to capture them and get all those powers for themselves. And the head of this agency is one of our villains. And then there’s another major villain who goes after them.
“So, I end up being part of a group of seven superheroes who have crash landed on Earth from the planet something or other,” Lee continued. “And they will become Earth’s mightiest seven superheroes that I write about and none of the readers will know they’re real. I’m not making up the stories. I’m just following these guys around and writing what happens. So, it’s never been done before. I’m very proud of this. It’s starting out as some comic books. It will turn into three movies on The Hub Network. And once those three animated movies have appeared, obviously all of Hollywood will be bidding for it to do live action versions and away we go!”
Jim Belushi (According to Jim) will round out the cast as the leader of a covert military group.
The first movie in the trilogy will air on The Hub in March 2014. Once all three air, the plan is for Lee and his POW! Entertainment, together with Archie Comic Publications and A Squared Entertainment, to produce 26 episodes for the kiddie network by mid-2015.
“We’re always looking for new projects and I decided we had a lot of things that didn’t have my name in them,” Lee told EW. “I thought it would be fun to do what I would call a ‘new reality comic book,’ which would then turn into a show hopefully and a movie, and everything. I’ve played cameos in so many movies. I thought instead of a cameo, what if I did a comic book where I was actually a character and where other real people, assuming I’m a real person, where other real people also were characters? Then I could bill it as ‘the world’s first reality comic book.’”