While there have been some great casting choices in superhero movies, arguably the greatest of them all is J.K. Simmons' role as J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. Simmons was so perfectly cast that his take on Jameson ended up being the only character to jump between cinematic universes, showing up in the MCU at the end of Spider-Man: Far from Home to once again make Spidey's life hell. In an interview with Collider, Simmons explained how his history in Raimi's films ended up being a source of contention for his new take on Jameson.
"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."
In the original Spider-Man trilogy directed by Raimi, Simmons' J. Jonah Jameson was the editor of a well-respected newspaper the Daily Bugle, where Jameson spent his time demanding to get pictures of that damned menace Spider-Man, and shortchanging Peter Parker for getting him pictures of said Spider-Man. Simmons's querulous, energetic take on the character was a highlight of the movies, and it seems the architects of the MCU were fans as well, as the director of Far From Home, Jon Watts explained with regards to bringing Simmons into the MCU.
"There was always the chance that he would say no, but I always wanted that. There was maybe a brief conversation about like, oh, is there a way to reinvent what The Daily Bugle is and who J. Jonah Jameson would be? But it just felt wrong. It's gotta be him. Like, if it wasn't him, it wasn't worth doing."
In the MCU, J.K. Simmons plays a different version of Jameson, one with lesser hair, who uses a YouTube channel to spread heavily biased news dealing plentifully in lies and propaganda, like claiming that Peter Parker had been responsible for the death of Mysterio. Back in June, Simmons had promised audiences have not seen the last of this new version of Jameson.
"[I'll be back as J. Jonah Jameson] that's the short answer. There is a future for J. Jonah Jameson after a several-year hiatus. He showed up very briefly for those who were wise enough to stay through the credits of Far from Home... There is one more JJJ appearance in the can, and from what I'm hearing there's a plan for yet another. So hopefully JJJ will continue now and forever."
This news arrives from the great folks over at Collider.