LOS ANGELES — Kevin Feige was honored at the 45th annual Saturn Awards but the Marvel Studios president gave higher praise to someone other than himself.
Feige said in a video message Friday night that he was "humbled" after accepting the inaugural Stan Lee Builder award, named after the late Marvel Comics mastermind. He paid homage to Lee for kick-starting the Marvel legacy, calling him a "genius."
"He was enthused with humanity and kindness," said Feige, who did not attend the ceremony but spoke on a large video screen. "He put that into every creation he had, which is why they all still resonate today. It will resonate for centuries to come."
Feige was recognized for the successful creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), a film world with multiple story lines and characters that so far has spanned 23 films over 11 years. The latest phase of the franchise triumphantly concluded with the record-breaking "Avengers: Endgame" film, which took home multiple awards including best comic-to-motion picture release.
The awards show was simulcast for the first time on several platforms including its official YouTube channel, Twitch, Cinedigm's CONtv and Pluto TV Sci-Fi Channel.
Aisha Tyler hosted the event, created in 1973 to recognize horror, sci-fi and fantasy films that typically don't get recognized at major award shows. The awards were presented at the Avalon Hollywood venue in Los Angeles.
"Iron Man" and "Lion King" director Jon Favreau and Marvel's head of television Jeph Loeb also received honorary awards. Favreau was handed the Saturn Visionary award for his work in modern cinema, while Loeb was given the Dan Curtis Legacy award, which highlights the accomplishments in genre television.
Favreau remembered when he first saw a Saturn Award while visiting Feige's office years ago. He also spoke about the progression of superhero films along with sci-fi and fantasy genres.
"At the time, people weren't really recognizing superhero films or genre films. Now, we're a part of mainstream," Favreau said. "Now horror, superheroes and sci-fi have become a part of what keeps the film business going. But way back when I was growing up, it was a small group in the lunch room that liked that kind of stuff. ... It's so amazing how this has blossomed."
Loeb said his father's colorful stories of his workday during his childhood encouraged him to become a storyteller.
"He told a story about going to the post office. But in my mind, he was Indiana Jones meets Jesse James," he said. "He was a stockbroker for 37 years, but he made me want to be a storyteller. ... They say in this business don't meet your heroes. You'll find out they're just mortals. But I have and they're in this room. They're in my office and on my sets."
"Halloween" star Jamie Lee Curtis received a standing ovation after winning best actress in a 2018 film. The actress isn't a huge fan of horror films but said she was grateful that her role in the first "Halloween," in 1978, help kick-start her career.
"I never, ever, ever thought I would be an actress," Curtis said.
Robert Downey Jr. won best actor for his work in "Avengers: Endgame."
George Takei, the "Star Trek" actor, called himself an "O.G. nerd" before announcing HBO's "Westworld" as the winner for best science fiction television series.
"Supergirl" star Melissa Benoist accepted the award for the CW show, which won best superhero television series.