‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′: Should J.K. Simmons Return as J. Jonah Jameson?

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:28 pm,

 Amazing Spider Man 2: Should J.K. Simmons Return as J. Jonah Jameson?

Comic book movie fans will be quick to tell you: one of the best parts of Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man movie trilogy – and a case of pitch-perfect casting – was character actor J.K. Simmons playing J. Jonah Jameson, Editor-in-chief of the Daily Bugle, the fictional New York newspaper where Peter Parker works as a photographer. With his blustery delivery keeping in perfect step with the comic book version of  J.J. Jameson, Simmons was a scene-stealer in every Spidey movie; which is why the character (and the actor) was notably absent in Sony’s reboot film, The Amazing Spider-Man.

However, it now seems there’s opportunity to right that slight wrong, as Simmons himself let it be known he’s open to returning to the new Spider-Man franchise. The question is: should he be brought back?

Simmons was out doing the press tour for his upcoming show on ABC, Family Tools, when he spoke to Crave Online about the subject of the Amazing Spider-Man franchise – specifically whether or not he’d be open to jumping into it, should the opportunity present itself with the already-in-development sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Always one to keep his work options open, Simmons let be known that if the studio were to call, he wouldn’t be opposed to playing in the Spider-Man movie universe again:

“Oh, I’m open to anything… Obviously that was enormous fun playing that character. A big part of the fun was doing it with Sam and with Tobey. Like I said I literally have not seen the movie. I don’t even know tonally how different it may or may not be. I’m a fan of the actors, the director and everything else. Yeah, I’m always open.”

While that might seem like the standard answer from a working actor who likes to, you know, keep working, it should be noted that not every actor is open to revisiting ground they feel they’ve already covered – or continuing with a franchise after the creative team they worked under has moved on (see: Christian Bale and the Dark Knight franchise). Of course, his words do come without him having seen the actual film, so they could be taken as a bit premature:

“Well, the Spider-Man thing, for those of us who were doing the first franchise, that rug got pulled out from under us like two-and-a-half years ago, you know. So, that water is well under the bridge. I love making those movies with Sam and with everybody, and we had a great time. Now, the studio is doing a different version of it.  But that seems like ancient history. And, because I don’t get out much, I haven’t seen the movie or the Broadway play or the cartoon, which I do a voice on.”

J. Jonah Jameson wont be in the Spider Man reboot Amazing Spider Man 2: Should J.K. Simmons Return as J. Jonah Jameson?

Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi's 'Spider-Man' Trilogy

Simmons is a pretty tireless actor, so his statement above isn’t surprising, and clearly his ties to the Spider-Man property run deep. But again, the question is: should he be brought back?

  1. On the one hand: of course. As stated, the man is awesome at bringing J. Jonah Jameson to life onscreen. Some things just don’t need changing.
  2. On the other hand: no. Amazing Spider-Man is a new version, with a new approach, tone, and interpretation of the characters. J. Jonah deserves the same chance at (semi-)reinvention, with a new actor putting his own stamp on it.

Let us know your take on the situation by voting in the poll below – and be sure to head over to  Crave Online  to hear some more great stuff from Simmons about the Spider-Man experience.

[poll id="359"]

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is currently being revised by Star Trek 2 writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. It’s due in theaters on May 2, 2014.

Source: Crave Online 

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  1. J.K Simmons had the look and acting down. I believed it was JJJ from the books come to life when I saw him on screen. I think its a no brainer to bring him back just as M was still Judi Dench in the reboot of James Bond as others have noted.

    At the same time we never really seen anybody else take a shot at the role yet. Many believe him to be the only logical choice but we really haven’t been exposed to any other actor. Same as RDJ as Tony Stark- I cannot think of anyone to better replace him but I said the same about Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo was a welcome addition. J.K difintely can place his own spin on the character, if needed, while keeping it memorable and iconic as the first time. I would love JK to return but I will not be against a recasting if it is a good take on the character.

    • My thoughts exactly. Nothing an audition of anyone who thinks they can do it can’t solve

  2. As far as I’m concerned, JJJ in the comics was based off of J.K. Simmons. If they don’t bring him back for ASM 2, I’ll be a sad, sad panda.

  3. He was perfectly cast, I agree. But that series is ancient history. This is a new telling of spiderman therefore you need new faces. Audiences are confused enough that we already have a new spiderman movie franchise. You will have more confusion if you bring back familiar faces from the first franchise. Just my opinion.

    • I agree that there should be a new person because the other series is a different telling of how they are telling it now so bye bye J.K. Simmons

  4. J.K Simmons fit and played J.Jonah perfectly in Raimi’s (better) take on Spiderman. Be that as it may I think recasting him in the Amazing Spiderman would be a lot of fun, but would ultimately not be a good idea. His character fit the whole tone of Raimi’s world but i dont think he will fit as well in Webb’s world.

    I really wish they would just bring back Tobey and raimi and continue on with that franchise

    • They can’t. That’s why they “had the rug pulled from under them”. Spider-man 3 ruined their characters and storyline

      • I don’t think that was the reason “the rug was pulled”. Spider-Man 3 outgrossed both of the previous films (and as of today, is still the highest-grossing of all 4). So I don’t think that’s the reason the studio cancelled on Spider-Man 4. In fact, I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that Raimi dropped out because he was giving a 1-year deadline to make the 4th film, and he didn’t think he could uphold the film creatively with such a rushed deadline. And as a result of Raimi’s departure, both Toby and Kirsten dropped out as well.

  5. I think bringing simmons back would be great. having this first movie establishes this is a new continuity so having him come back would be a fun sort of homage to the original series. When I was watching amazing spiderman and he falls into the wrestling ring I honestly thought they would have the wrestler poster be a bone saw McGraw poster as a nod to original, but they Chose not to. I think people would get a kick out of it and I personally wouldn’t mind at all. I’d probably be disappointed if they DIDN’T do it actually.

  6. While I agree with everyone and, as far as I’m concerned Simmons WAS JJJ. It’s few and far between when we can get a near perfect match to the comic book version and he was one of those.

    Regrettably though the two versions need to remain separate so there is no confusion. If this IS a new incarnation then it all needs to be new. Saying that is actually a little painful because he did such a great job. :(

  7. Not sure why people complain that he wasn’t in TASM when honestly, there would’ve been complaints about him being shoe-horned into the story anyway if he was written in.

  8. JK Simmons was a great J Jonah Jameson, as much as it would be cool to have him back I think it’s time to cast someone else just to avoid confusion with the last franchise. My casting suggestion for the new J Jonah Jameson is James Woods.

    • I agreed about new face for starting thing fresh. I like James Wood too, but he doesn’t have the look. I would rather see Clancy Brown play darker J. J. J. Brown will give Spidey hell.

  9. this is a waste of time i think everyone including them should know this isn`t a bright idea no matter how good he was let`s focus on bringing in a new cast with none of the old faces and getting a script done! i won`t be surprised if this film sucks. so far Tas has made 700 million from 7 billion people and i wouldn`t be surprised if it`s because the movie got sucky reviews from people who`ve seen it. Man i start to get the feeling that it`s impossible to make a movie that`s so good that it`s worth watching it multiple times for with a reason other than to understand what`s going on. Transformers 2 and 3 weren`t as good as the 1st one and were disappointingly weak. What is it, that the more movies you make in a franchise, the worse they get? Also all 5 superman films, all 4 spidey films, even the 7 batman films, the first X-Men, the avengers, both Iron Mans and Hulks,Ghost Rider, Avatar, all as Ordinary popular franchises weren`t surprisingly good. They were predictably weak. So much disappointment that it`s not worth watching even again. man I want a movie that`s worth watching a few times not just to understand the story.

  10. “Man i start to get the feeling that it`s impossible to make a movie that`s so good that it`s worth watching it multiple times for with a reason other than to understand what`s going on.” sorry i didn`t have to use both “for” and “with” it can be either word.

  11. I loved him as JJ, but he seemed to be more of a comedic character than a serious newspaper editor. I think that since this new Spidey is trying to be more grounded and realistic, it should be done by a new actor, though I wouldn’t be totally against having Simmons come back. He would just need to be more of a serious character. Its odd looking back at the 90s cartoon series and seeing J.J. Jameson as a serious and deep character, but then seeing him as a shallow comedic character in the live action films. Isn’t it a little turned around when the cartoons seem more realistic than the movies?

  12. ThE Ultimate comics version is younger and a little nicer than Simmon’s version portrayed him as. If ASM wants to follow the ultimate comics path, they need a new person for the role. How about Josh Brolin?

    • I think he should come back. He is enough of a fine actor to give the part a different vibe. :)

    • Josh Brolin sounds like a nice Idea! :)

  13. I certainly hope not! While I enjoyed his proformance in the original trilogy, and it is one of my favorite trilogies of all time, but I don’t want this movie to tie back in any way to that trilogy. Find a new actor IMO.

  14. Simmons was the best part of the Raimi movies and perfectly brought JJJ to life right off the comic book page. There is no one who could do the part better so, Yes Absolutely bring back Simmons for then next SM movie.

  15. He was awesome! Totally owned it. But we are moving on (for the better in my opinion) so the cast needs to move on as well. Simmons played JJ the way he is portrayed in the comics. I’m sure there is another actor out there that can do it.

    Hugh Laurie never got to play Perry White. Tap him for the role.

  16. He did a good job on his character hope he gets recast

  17. I’m a bit torn on this. On the one hand, yes, other franchises (like Bond) have managed to keep the same supporting actors around while switching up the other cast, but on the other I feel that seeing Simmons’ Jameson in ASM2 might take me out of the universe and put me back into Raimi’s.

    He totally nailed his take, yeah, but I think they should take him on only if he can fit in with the tone and other characters.

  18. He IS JJJ.

  19. I’m torn. Simmons absolutely owned that role, and I cackled with glee every time his Jameson appeared on screen. But it was a campy, over-the-top Jameson (not in a bad way), which fit perfectly with Raimi’s cinematic style. He may not fit with the new rendition of Spidey. As much as I would love to see Simmons reprise the role of J. Jonah Jameson, the new Spidey may need someone a bit less melodramatic.

  20. When J.K. Simmons was cast in Raimi’s movies, I really thought the role should have gone to Dennis Farina. In every movie I saw Dennis Farina in, I’d picture him as J. Jonah Jameson from my comics as a kid. But now, I just see Dennis Farina in his movies because J.K. Simmons owned the role. If Simmons came back, I’d be ecstatic since he was one of my favorite parts of the Raimi version of the Spider-Man franchise.

  21. I feel that J. K. Simmons is one of a few select actors in the original trilogy (which include him, Willem Dafoe, and Alfred Molina, in my opinion) who simply MUST return as his respective character! Sure, part of me worries if it might get a meh critical reaction from people who want to see someone “new,” but hey, Judy Dench returned as M in the James Bond reboot, and that turned out fine.

  22. He wants to be famous I’ll make him infamous” or my name isn’t J.J Jameson.While I really did enjoy his role in the Raimy trilogy.His retirement is long overdue.Move along this aren’t the Jamesons we are looking for.It’s time for new blood.It’s a new era for Spidey.A darker more serious take on the franchise.J.K Simmons was to comical He’s not serous enough.He speaks too fast,sounds too much like the 1967 cartoon than the way a newspaper publisher should be.The new reboots need new Alfred the Butlers new Perry Whites new Jimmy Olsens and new faces at the Daily Bugle.The actors who played those roles are now bored and tired to bring in sparkle to this characters just look at the way Kirsten Dunst looked as Mary Jane in that last Spider-ham movie.Get over it that version is now over.Time for new faces to shine.Print that on the front page.

  23. I say absolutly get him back. When I first heard the series was going to be rebooted, my first thought was “If JJ’s included, hopefully Simmons come’s back.” I think he’s perfect for the part.

    But I do have to agree with some people, if he comes back he should put a new spin on the character. We can’t have him just simply do the same part otherwise producers could be called, bringing in favorities or something.

    Or at least have one movie where JJ’s serious/very important and then transition him to just blowing his top off at the end of that movie and then at the start of the next.

  24. I say bring him back. So just in case the sequel sucks as much as the new movie – and boy, did it suck – there will be at least one thing that’s enjoyable about it.

    • What didn’t you like about it? I thought it was the best one (and trust me, I loved the original trilogy as well)!

  25. I think he should, he was such a good actor in Spider-man 1,2, and 3 I think he should come back in The Amazing Spider-man 2.


  27. This is all I gotta say…………..BRING BACK J.K. Simmons!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Honestly, this article while entertaining is a no brainer. In my opinion J.K. Simmons was without a shadow of a doubt the best fitted role in the original trilogy. When compared to his performance everyone else fell short. He has proven that he is a great actor not only with his humor on the movie as well as Farmers commercials but also his serious compelling side with his tv show and other movies. If at all needed he could change J.J. For the amazing franchise but why change it when his personality from the Raimi series would still fit in the Webb world

  29. Honestly, this article while entertaining is a no brainer. In my opinion J.K. Simmons was without a shadow of a doubt the best fitted role in the original trilogy. When compared to his performance everyone else fell short. He has proven that he is a great actor not only with his humor on the movie as well as Farmers commercials but also his serious compelling side with his tv show and other movies. If at all needed he could change J.J. For the amazing franchise but why change it when his personality from the Raimi series would still fit in the Webb world?