It’s hard to forget when you were the young fan boy, sitting in front of the screen, nitpicking 2002’s Spider-Man. So far, everything seemed pretty right, but you wanted to be convinced further. Then J.K. Simmons opened his mouth, and you knew his J. Jonah Jameson had become maybe the most perfectly-realized comic book character on film. And yet, he was missing from The Amazing Spider-Man and doesn’t show up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. So what gives? Fortunately, Marc Webb hears your cry.
When asked during a Google Hangout in regards to J. Jonah Jameson’s place in the new universe, Webb admitted that the genius of Simmons was impossible to top, though some seeds may have been planted for the character’s return in the next film:
"I like the idea very much of him coming up in the next film. It was more easy to accept a new Spider-Man than someone who could outdo J.K. Simmons in that role, he is so iconic. That’s something we’ve really talked about. Obviously I love that character because he poses such an interesting dilemma for Spider-Man. The answer is I don’t know, but I think you can expect to see him in the future."
Either Webb is fluent in nerd-speak, or he too was bowled over by Simmons’ rendition of the cranky newspaper man who can’t stand Spider-Man. Strange to think, Simmons almost didn’t get the role: apparently, it was earmarked for William H. Macy, but shooting on Jurassic Park III ran long and he couldn’t do it. Simmons would go on to play the role in all three Sam Raimi-directed Spidey films.
Of course, if you follow the film’s active viral campaign, J. Jonah Jameson is already a part of this new franchise. The Daily Bugle is now a blog, and they’ve been running frequent stories about New York City now being a safe haven for super villains. Jameson has been featured on the byline for a couple of these stories, radiating hatred and contempt for the wall crawler. J.K. Simmons’ Jameson was always a bit goofy. Webb’s version will probably lean towards the more threatening, if not exactly as ludicrous as he was in the comics.
But who could play him? Maybe Christopher Meloni, on loan from Man Of Steel? How about a more ethnic Jameson, you could give John Ortiz a call? Or hey, why not Macy again? Give us your J. Jonah Jameson casting choices in the comments section.