J.K. Simmons is firmly entrenched as one of Hollywood’s most recognizable character actors, but despite boasting an extensive stage and screen career that dates back four decades, he didn’t really gain much mainstream attention until he appeared in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy as J. Jonah Jameson.
Fans of HBO’s popular prison drama Oz would have been more than aware of his talents, but before he chewed on both cigars and the scenery as the Daily Bugle chief, he was relegated largely to smaller supporting parts in film and television. It was pitch perfect casting, so much so that Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man duology didn’t even try to recast the role, while Kevin Feige brought him back into the fold for a surprise cameo at the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Far From Home.
It was just the springboard his career needed in the early 2000s, and Simmons has been a regular presence on our screens ever since, having lent his talents to no less than 27 features and 14 different TV shows in the last five years alone, which included headlining his own episodic series for two seasons via Starz’s criminally underrated Counterpart.
In a new interview to promote the impending release of Amazon’s sci-fi blockbuster The Tomorrow War, Simmons lavished praise on his experience working with Raimi on the Spider-Man trilogy, calling the filmmaker one of his very favorite people.
“Those movies with Sam will always be big highlights of my career and my life. Sam is one of my favorite directors and human beings. To have the opportunity to kind of do a reboot of the character, I was eager to hang on to the things I really loved about it and totally open to letting go of some of that, and realizing we are in a more updated version of that universe. Hopefully, we found the sweet spot there.”
It hasn’t been confirmed as of yet, but most of us are expecting Simmons to return as Jameson when Spider-Man: No Way Home lands in December, and given the multiversal nature of the narrative, it’ll be interesting to see if the movie explains why both versions of the Daily Bugle boss we’ve met look exactly the same, minus the hair of course.