Stan Lee leaves behind a huge vacuum in pop culture. It’s not just the stories he told or characters he co-created, but the thousands of lives he changed by creating opportunities for other people to carry those stories and characters on to new highs in other comic books, television shows and, of course, movies. Few people have had their lives as dramatically impacted by Lee’s work as the six actors who took on the roles of the original Avengers back between 2008, when the first Iron Man movie came out, and 2012, when the first Avengers dropped. And now, those first six actors have taken out a full page ad in the Hollywood Reporter to pay tribute to the guy who made it all possible.
— Matthew Belloni (@THRMattBelloni) November 14, 2018
The text 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.
And it’s signed by Scarlett Johansson (the Black Widow), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Chris Evans (Captain America). Many of these actors are prepping to wrap up their long contracts with Marvel Studios with next year’s as-yet-untitled fourth Avengers movie.