Tobey Maguire may have been the star of the Sam Raimi-helmed Spider-Man trilogy, but one actor who consistently stole the show during those movies was J.K. Simmons, whose portrayal of Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson was met with acclaim. With Spider-Man 3 wrapping up that era of Spider-Man’s film history in 2007, it seemed like we’d never see Jameson in the role again, but last year, the actor made a surprise cameo as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Jameson in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
While getting J.K. Simmons to appear in Spider-Man: Far From Home came together rather quickly, as the J. Jonah Jameson scenes were saved until the last minute, that’s not to say that the actor didn’t have have any disagreements with the filmmakers on how the character should be depicted. Here’s what Simmons recently had to say on the matter while speaking with Collider:
The only thing we didn’t a hundred percent see eye to eye on, I think, was how much is this character going to be the character from, I think, the comic books and from the Sam Raimi original trilogy, and how much do we want to evolve it and to have it be more contemporary or more… you know. I was very attached to what I had done previously for a variety of reasons. So I guess the compromise ended up being no hair. [laughter] Which I think honestly, that decision might’ve just been them going, ‘We don’t have time to make a wig. We got to shoot him tomorrow in the office.’ So, J. Jonah Jameson either lost his hair in the last few years, or he was wearing a hairpiece the whole time. I don’t know, you pick.
It’s true that unlike the J. Jonah Jameson we saw in the first three Spider-Man movies, the MCU’s Jameson doesn’t look like he was plucked straight from the comic book pages, namely lacking that distinctive hairstyle. Plus, rather than being a traditional newspaper, The Daily Bugle in the MCU is a sensationalist and controversial online news outlet, with Jameson serving as the stubborn man in charge.
So while a few steps were taken to modernize J. Jonah Jameson for the MCU and distinguish him from his cinematic predecessor, overall, it sounds like these changes didn’t bother J.K. Simmons too much. For what my two cents are worth, the little we saw of Jameson in Spider-Man: Far From Home was still very much in the spirit of the character, but I can understand why Simmons expressed concern given how important the role has been to him all these years.
In case you need a reminder, J.K. Simmons’ new version of J. Jonah Jameson appeared in Spider-Man: Far From Home’s mid-credits scene, where he broadcast doctored footage that made it look like Spider-Man was responsible for the attack on London and killed Mysterio, as well outed the Web-Slinger as Peter Parker. It initially looked like Peter’s life was returning to normal, but thanks to Jameson’s poor journalistic standards, he’s now wanted for murder and his secret identity has gone out the proverbial window.
Before signing onto Spider-Man: Far From Home, J.K. Simmons made sure to get Sam Raimi’s blessing on reprising the role, and it was given. Of course, Raimi will soon get to leave his own stamp on the MCU as the director of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so perhaps there’s a chance, however slim, that the Master of the Mystic Arts’ next solo adventure could include a certain loudmouthed newsman.
For those who enjoyed J.K. Simmons playing J. Jonah Jameson again, you’re in luck, as he signed a contract that allows him to appear in two more movies. In fact, Simmons said in June that one of these future Jameson appearances is “in the can,” and there are already plans for the third one. Considering that the Spider-Man film rights are still owned by Sony, it’s been speculated that Simmons’ next Jameson appearance will be in Morbius, as that’s already been shot and looks like it’ll be tied to the MCU. And, of course, the third Tom Holland-led Spider-Man movie would a logical guess for Simmons’ third appearance as this new Jameson.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on J.K. Simmons’ tenure as J. Jonah Jameson, and browse through our Marvel movies guide to learn what the MCU has coming up, which includes the next live-action Spider-Man movie swinging into theaters on December 17, 2021.