Marvel films are made by multiple studios; Disney, Sony and Fox. The continuities of these individual studio’s ‘cinematic universes’ are separate and cannot legally link to each other. However, is there one character that secretly connects the three cinematic universes? Is that character played by comic writing icon Stan Lee? And is that character…The Watcher?
He’s made cameos in most Marvel films and they all seem to be unconnected, Hitchcockian walk-ons, designed as lite-hearted tributes to the legendary comic scribe. He’s been mailman Willie Lumpkin, Hugh Hefner, Larry King, a General, a victim of poisoned soda, the guy listening to music during a slug-fest, a hotdog vendor, a security man, a mental ward patient, a Xandarian ladies’ man and many others. However, there’s a theory that all these independent appearances are all the same character. He may be playing Uatu, best known to fans as The Watcher.
There’s a fan theory that’s been discussed on numerous fan forums, and written about on sites like Cinemablend, that Stan might be the Watcher, observing the superheroes of the Marvel universe(s) in disguise. Years back, Uatu the Watcher was the host of the ‘What If’ comic series, where he appeared in different alternate universes each issue to observe super heroes at certain crises points. Is the same thing happening here?
Clearly, Stan does not have the look of the comic book Watcher (15 feet tall and bald) but film versions of characters frequently do not look like their comic counterparts. And the Watcher has immense cosmic power and could likely change his appearance to look more inconspicuous.
Obviously, there can be no mass unity of Marvel just now, but in the future, if Disney ever gets the rights to characters like Spider-Man or the Fantastic Four or X-Men, they could introduce the Watcher, (not necessarily played by Lee–maybe in his real form) and we can get a montage of scenes of Lee in previous films, observing the Super-Heroes of Earth (and space).