THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME. DO NOT READ THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN THE MOVIE!
Spider-Man: Far From Home shows Spider-Man going up against Mysterio, which turned out to be his most formidable foe. Even though he was defeated, Mysterio makes sure to get the last laugh by altering footage to make it look like Spider-Man was the bad guy, and by revealing his identity to the world. The media outlet that brought this to the public’s attention was none other than the Daily Bugle. The best part is that it was J. Jonah Jameson that delivered the news and the clip. Wait that’s not that best part. The best part is who director Jon Watts got to play J. Jonah Jameson in the MCU.
J.K. Simmons reprised his role from the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films in what is one of the biggest surprises the MCU has provided since Spider-Man’s inclusion himself.
Watts sat down to talk on CinemaBlend’s podcast ReelBlend to give a little insight into bringing Simmons into the MCU.
“We knew we were going to reveal Spider-Man’s identity at the end of the movie, and it had to be through the media somehow. And then you start talking about, what is the main media in Spider-Man comics, and it has always been The Daily Bugle. And then so you start talking about what The Daily Bugle might be now. And then we started talking about J. Jonah Jameson, and it’s like… it’s gotta be him. Like, there was never any discussion about it being someone else. Like, it’s gotta be JK Simmons. The question was just, would he do it? …
It was an amazing meeting. We saved that until the very, very, very end because we wanted to keep it a secret and we didn’t want it somehow [get out]. We shot it in like a conference room at Marvel with like a green screen set up. It was funny because it was the exact same setup that we shot, essentially, the kid’s news from the beginning [of the movie]. … It was just him and a desk and a green screen. He just launched into it, and it was amazing, because I was just watching the movie. I asked him, I said, ‘Is this weird?’ And he’s like, ‘It’s a little weird.’ But he just stepped right back into the role. And it was, it was, I had goosebumps.”
I never thought they’d consider bringing back an actor who played a previous version of the character to play the new version. Perhaps that is why they retired Chris Evans’ Captain America, so when they bring the Fantastic Four into the MCU, he can be the Human Torch again. I’m kidding, but seriously, Simmons was the last person I would ever pick to be the MCU’s JJJ, because I thought him playing the role before made him instantly out of the running. I was looking at someone like Ice Cube to play the role.
Bringing back Simmons is inspired, gutsy, and freakin’ beautiful, man. Let’s not forget, he’s technically still Commissioner Gordon in the DCU, until we hear otherwise. So with Gunn breaking down the walls between the two companies, it looks like Simmons is the next one to step over the rubble to the other side. (I am just talking the existing MCU and DCU, not Marvel and DC movies in general).
I can’t wait to see what this monumental move brings to the future of the MCU. What if one day Simmons plays both of his versions of JJJ when they do a live action Spider-Verse with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield appearing? Sorry. I’m getting ahead of myself.
Still, after all of the wonderful surprises in Endgame, it is great to see that Feige, Watts and Co. still have a few tricks up their sleeves.