Zack Snyder is currently filming next year’s Justice League Part One, and like Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice before it, the film will further expand the DC Extended Universe and introduce new characters to the franchise. One of the chief additions is Oscar winner J.K. Simmons as Gotham City’s police commissioner Jim Gordon, a well-known ally of Batman. News of his casting was met with an enthusiastic response from viewers, who have long admired Simmons’ talent in front of the camera.
The actor has said his main method of preparing for the role involves reading the source material as opposed to studying the portrayals of Gary Oldman and Pat Hingle in previous films. Apparently, Simmons’ homework goes beyond frequenting his local comic book store and requires him to visit the gym. Based on some new pictures, Simmons has been training hard and is in peak physical condition for Justice League.
Fitness professional and U.S. Marine veteran Aaron Williamson took to his Instagram account to share an image of Simmons lifting weights as he presumably gets ready to play Gordon. While he’s never been a slouch, Simmons seems to have transformed his body during his regimen and some may be surprised by the results:
Given that Gordon is a police officer, it makes sense that Simmons would be looking to enhance his physique before filming Justice League. It’s also worth mentioning that he appears as Sgt. Jeffrey Pugliese in Peter Berg’s Boston Marathon bombing drama Patriot’s Day, which focuses on the manhunt for the terrorists responsible for the incident. Plausibly, both projects ask Simmons to take part in action sequences, and it certainly helps if he looks the part to better sell audiences of what’s on the screen. The extent of his role in Justice League is unknown at this juncture, but Simmons is obviously fully committed.
When classic comic book characters are translated from page to film, die-hard fans study each element of their appearance to ensure it’s up to par. It’s true that directors have the artistic license to vary costumes from time to time, but there are certain aspects that are a must if they are to be faithful. In the case of Gordon, one of his most recognizable features is his mustache, which both Hingle and Oldman wore. Snyder, who gave viewers arguably the most loyal cinematic interpretation of the Batsuit, is keeping up the tradition. While attending the L.A. Greek Film Festival premiere of Worlds Apart (via FirstLook LIVE), Simmons was photographed with some noticeable facial hair across his upper lip:
The two installments of the DCEU released thus far have divided audiences, but the actors themselves (mostly) haven’t been the main issue. This is particularly true in regard to the Batman corner of the franchise; Ben Affleck was one of the most praised elements of Dawn of Justice, and many are excited to see Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Jeremy Irons, and Simmons dive into their roles in future films. It’s borderline impossible for Simmons to give a bad performance, so hopefully the material he’s working with is compelling and interesting as Warner Bros. tries to turn things around.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in U.S. theaters. Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020.