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The DC live-action universe has had a fascinating tenure in theaters, full of both highs and lows. Warner Bros. seems to have recovered nicely, surfing on the success Aquaman and the anticipation for Shazam! But it wasn't long ago that things were looking bleak, as Batman v Superman and Justice League failed to perform critically. The latter was also a box office disappointment, which had the potential to put the entire shared universe in jeopardy.
Ultimately, the DCEU pivoted away from serialized storytelling, allowing filmmakers to have more capsulated and controlled projects. Ben Affleck has departed his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman, with Matt Reeves needing to recast for his long developing movie, The Batman. But what does that mean for J.K. Simmons' Commissioner Gordon? Simmons had a brief role in Justice League, which was meant to expand before things changed at the studio. But the Oscar-winning actor still wants to play the character again, recently saying:
I wish I had something to offer, although, if I actually did know more than I do, they probably would shoot me if I told you. I know nothing. I know that I signed up to do three movies, potentially, and I hope there are gonna be two more. It has been in and around and through, whether it be Batman or Justice League or another Suicide Squad, or where Commissioner Gordon might end up appearing again, I'm open to it. I'm not sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring in the meantime, but I hope there's more of that in the future.
Is anyone else's FOMO going through the roof? J.K. Simmons has the interest and contract to bring him back to the role of Commissioner Gordon, although it's unclear if he'll be asked to return for a future installment in the DC live-action universe. Fingers crossed.
J.K. Simmons' comments to ET should excite the hardcore DC fans out there, as well as moviegoers who appreciate his small role in Justice League. Gordon is one of Batman's most loyal allies, and it's a character that's been adapted into live-action a number of times, including Gary Oldman in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. Simmons has attitude, talent, and massive biceps to play the Gotham City lawman, so hopefully Warner Bros. decides to bring him back for a larger role in the future.
Justice League had a rocky road to theaters. Zack Snyder departed during filming due to a family tragedy, leading Joss Whedon to step in and complete the project. But their conflicting visions resulted in a film that failed to resonate with audiences, and ultimately underperformed at the box office. Ben Affleck ultimately dropped out of the director's chair and eventually the role of the protagonist in the Batman solo movie, which J.K. Simmons was expected to appear in.
The Batman has sat in development hell, but Matt Reeves is still attached as director, and occasionally updates the public on its writing process. In fact, The Batman even has a tentative release date in June of 2021. But production is going to have to amp up, including the recasting of Batman, and the assembling of his rogues gallery. Let's just hope that J.K. Simmons will be included as Commissioner Gordon, and get another go at the beloved supporting character.
J.K. Simmons might not have had an especially meaty role in Justice League, but it was an aspect to the ill-fated blockbuster that audiences seem to have responded to. Simmons has considerable star power, and he seemed like an inspiring choice to take the mantle of Commissioner Gordon. Plus, take a look at that guy's mustache. He played Gordon with humor and heart, and was able to roll with the punches once The League assembled.
Of course, comic book fans know and love J.K. Simmons from his tenure as J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Saimi's Spider-Man trilogy. He was appropriately campy and despicable, with a performance that was ripped straight from the page. Moviegoers delighted to see his cigar-chomping egomaniac, especially when the comedic supporting character was put into the heart of the superhero drama.
Getting another few superhero movies from J.K. Simmons was a dream for the fandom, but it looks like his future in the DC live-action universe is still unclear. As Simmons said, he's contracted for another two appearances in the franchise, and hasn't the slightest idea if/when that could happen. It's also entirely possible that the actor could be let go from his contract, and hang up Gordon's hat before he could really get a feel for it.
The recasting of Bruce Wayne in The Batman is one factor that may be preventing J.K. Simmons from appearing in Matt Reeves' developing blockbuster. Reeves is reportedly basing his story on a younger version of Bruce Wayne, who is greener than the jaded and experienced version Ben Affleck brought to theaters. If we're getting a younger Batman, then one would think a younger Jim Gordon may be a supporting character. If only because Simmons' involvement in both timelines would be a confusing.
But with the DC universe branching out with director-driven projects, perhaps Matt Reeves will ignore the rules and bring in J.K. Simmons as planned. He's an extremely accomplished actor, and recently won the Oscar for his performance in Whiplash. Since Warner Bros. has him contracted for two more potential appearances, it seems foolish to move on to another actor. But it all depends on what Reeves vision is, and if The Batman ever finally makes it to theaters.
If J.K. Simmons isn't included in The Batman, he could potentially pop up in another DC project set in the present. Gotham City is becoming a major setting in the shared universe with projects like Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). If the Gotham City Sirens movie also gets off the ground, that might be the perfect time to bring Commissioner Gordon back onto the silver screen. With Renee Montoya appearing in Birds of Prey, the GCPD could potentially become a larger presence in the universe as well.
The Batman is currently set to arrive in theaters on June 25th, 2021. In the meantime, be sure to check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.