Spider-Man’s J.K. Simmons Reveals Wild Story Behind Learning He Got The Role In Sam Raimi’s Original

J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson in 'Spider-Man'
(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

It’s hard to imagine Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man film series without J.K. Simmons. The always-busy actor stole scenes as Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson in all three movies and made an indelible impression on countless fans around the world. Now, as the premiere of his second appearance as Jameson in the MCU looms, Simmons is reflecting on the surprisingly strange way he found out he’d first won the role in the first place. 

When Spider-Man premiered in 2002, the internet was a different place. Rather than gathering on social media platforms to discuss Hollywood news and rumors, fans gathered on other forums and sites to share what they knew. Word still managed to get around well enough, though -- just ask J.K. Simmons, who recently revealed to The Ringer that the Internet was the reason he first found out about his role in the inaugural Spidey flick:

I’m walking following the person through the cubicles and this desk chair comes flying out in front of me, backwards, with some kid who was probably 28 and he goes, ‘Oh my God J.K., congratulations!’ and I go, ‘Thank you. For what?’ and he goes, ‘Are you kidding me? Spider-Man! J. Jonah Jameson, that’s so cool!’ and I was like, ‘I did not know that...I found out I got the part because of some kid who was so connected to the internet fan sites that they had that information on a Spider-Man website before my agent called me to tell me I got the job. He called me like 3 hours later and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I know.’

While it may have been a little confusing to learn about such a big career moment from a total stranger, it was probably exciting to know he already had fans rooting for his performance as the crabby journalist. They had plenty of reason to - the actor's boisterous, pitch-perfect turn as J. Jonah Jameson may not have won him his Oscar, but it remains a fan favorite to this day. 

That’s part of the reason fans were so excited to see J.K. Simmons reprise the role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, first in a mid-credits cameo in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home and soon in No Way Home. The internet is more abuzz than ever, carefully tracking every clue and potential spoiler in the MCU and elsewhere. But at least this time around, he was able to learn about his role before the fans did. 

The latest installment of the film franchise has perhaps created more of a fuss than any other before it, especially with the rumors of other former Spidey actors reprising their roles. And should they all appear, J.K. Simmons' Jameson should have plenty to bark about in the movie. We’ll see how it all comes together when Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17. 

Katherine Webb