Of all the casting choices in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, J.K. Simmons as The Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson is perhaps the most perfect. With his mile-a-minute patter and his ability to fire and rehire someone in the space of a single breath, Jameson still stands out as one of the most memorable aspects of Raimi's franchise - not to mention, the face that launched a thousand memes.
Simmons was so great in the role, in fact, that it's hard to imagine any other actor playing Jameson in the rebooted universe of The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequels. This has been true of other comic book characters in the past; before The Dark Knight it was hard to imagine anyone pulling off the role of the Joker as well as Jack Nicholson did. In this case, however, even The Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb admits that it's an incredibly tough role to recast.
During a Google+ Hangout promoting the upcoming release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Webb was asked about the possibility of J. Jonah Jameson showing up in either The Amazing Spider-Man 3 (which Webb is also directing) or Amazing Spider-Man 4. While Webb couldn't say for sure, he definitely seemed keen on the prospect.
"I like the idea very much of him coming up in the next film. It was more easy to accept a new Spider-Man than someone who could outdo J.K. Simmons in that role, he is so iconic. That's something we've really talked about. Obviously I love that character because he poses such an interesting dilemma for Spider-Man. The answer is I don't know, but I think you can expect to see him in the future."
As far as the viral marketing for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is concerned, Jameson is already part of the movies - even if he hasn't appeared onscreen yet. Sony set up a website for The Daily Bugle and posted an editorial from the desk of J. Jonah James, decrying the so-called "heroic" actions of the public menace known as Spider-Man.
If Jameson does appear in The Amazing Spider-Man 3 or The Amazing Spider-Man 4 then it might be possible to simply bring Simmons back to play the role again - he has, after all, said that he would be open to returning. The only actor to have appeared in both franchises so far is Stan Lee, who is sort of an exception to the rule; still, if any character could make it through a universe reboot without a single moustache hair out of place, then Jameson is that character.
Tell us in the comments if you think J. Jonah Jameson should show up in The Amazing Spider-Man sequels, and who should play him if he does.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in U.S. theaters on May 2, 2014, and The Amazing Spider-Man 3 is set for release on June 10, 2016.