STAN LEE SAYS HIS FORMER COMPANY, MARVEL COMICS, SHOULD ACT MORE LIKE THE DO-RIGHT CHARACTERS HE CREATED --
"60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY" ON CBS
Comic book legend Stan Lee tells correspondent Bob Simon that he was hurt by Marvel Comics' resistance to pay him part of the profits generated by the characters he created over his 60-year career with the company -- a company he says he loves. Simon's interview with Lee, who stands to make millions after winning a lawsuit against Marvel Comics in January 2005, will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) Feb. 2 on the CBS Television Network.
Lee tells Simon that it wasn't an easy decision for him to sue the company he worked for his entire adult career. "�It was very emotional," says Lee. "�.I was really hurt�.We had always had this great relationship, the company and me. I felt I was a part of it�."
While he was part of the company, Lee created blockbuster superheroes such as Spider-Man, X-Men, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk. Since then, each of the two Spider-Man movies have grossed about $800 million in worldwide ticket sales. "My contract called for me getting a certain share of the profits [for] movies, television, licensing and so forth, and I think when the contract was written nobody may have expected that those movies would be so successful," says Lee, who has been earning a million-dollar salary since 1994. "�Don't forget I've written about superheroes all my life. And they're the good guys and they always do the right things and I always thought our company is the good company and we always did the right thing�and suddenly I felt I wasn't being treated well and it really hurt."
A federal judge agreed and awarded Lee 10 percent of the profits Marvel made on the Spider-Man movies, as well as the other movies based on his superheroes. "�That part feels good, I must admit�just like every superhero should have a bit of vindication." And when Simon asks Lee on what he'll spend the tens of millions of dollars that he stands to receive, he replies, "I could always use a new pair of sneakers."
Jeff Fager is the executive producer of 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY and Joel Bernstein is the producer of this report.