For all the years that Batman has been battling crime, he hasn’t been at it alone. Whether it’s his butler Alfred Pennyworth or one of the Robins, others have aided Bruce Wayne in making Gotham City a safer place. One of his closest allies in the war against evil has been Commissioner James Gordon, and Warner Bros. has officially tapped Whiplash star J.K. Simmons to fill the role in the DC Extended Universe.
J.K. Simmons’ first appearance as Commissioner Gordon will be in Justice League: Part One, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It was rumored last year that Gordon might be dead by the time Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice begins, but that’s been officially been debunked with Simmons’ casting. So, sorry to those of you who wanted to Simmons to reprise J. Jonah Jameson for the new Spider-Man movies. He’s officially hopped on the DC train. There’s no word yet on how Simmons specifically fits into the 2017 blockbuster, but we should at least get one of Gordon and Batman’s nighttime conversations on the GCPD rooftop with the Bat-Signal shining in the sky.
Like Batman, James Gordon debuted in 1939’s Detective Comics #27, and has been one of the most important character in the Caped Crusader’s supporting cast ever since. Although he usually doesn’t know Batman’s secret identity and is sometimes skeptical of his methods, he knows the shadowy vigilante is needed in dealing with Gotham City’s criminal underworld and colorful super villains. Gordon is also the father (adoptive or biological depends on continuity) of Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl/Oracle.
J.K. Simmons is the fifth actor to play James Gordon on the big screen, following Lyle Talbot in the 1949 Batman and Robin serial, Neil Hamilton in the 1966’s Batman: The Movie (connected to the Adam West-led TV series), Pat Hingle in the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher series, and Gary Oldman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. A younger Gordon in his early police years is currently being played by Ben McKenzie on Fox’s Gotham. Although there was no mention of it in the report, it’s a good bet that Simmons’ Gordon will be included the Batman solo movie. It would just feel wrong to not have him appear.
Anyone who loves comics is most familiar with J.K. Simmons as The Daily Bugle editor-in-chief J. Jonah Jameson in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, a role he’s continued in voice form in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series and other Marvel cartoons. His recent cinematic roles include playing music instructor Terence Fletcher in Whiplash, Detective O’Brien in Terminator Genisys, and Mayor Lionheart in Zootopia. Simmons also has previous DC experience voicing General Wade Eiling in Justice League Unlimited and Evil Star in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
Justice League: Part One arrives in theaters on November 17, 2017.