At 89, the legendary creator of some of the world's most profitable comic book characters remains quick-witted, rapturously imaginative and always laughing -- even if, as far as "The Avengers" is concerned, he's not laughing all the way to the bank.
Lee recently talked to CNN's JD Cargill in an exclusive interview about the film, which of his characters he'd like to see next on the big screen, some of his current projects, and why we shouldn't assume he is now a billionaire.
JD Cargill: Even the craziest estimates didn't predict this much success for "The Avengers." What is your reaction to creating some of the most profitable characters in entertainment?
Stan Lee: Oh, I could have told everybody it was going to be this big of a hit! I don't know why they couldn't have predicted it. It couldn't miss! It's got some of the most popular characters in the world today. You put together a great script, a great director, great actors and a cameo by me -- how could it miss?
Cargill: Not including your cameo of course, what's the film's ultimate moment for you?
Lee: When they all come together and decide to fight as a team. I'm all heart! Years ago, I was writing these characters and I thought it would fun to put them together in a team. And I called it "The Avengers." And I thought, they have to have some sort of rallying cry. So I loved the idea of them shouting -- because I'm a very corny guy -- "Avengers assemble!"
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