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.”
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?
- 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.
- 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.
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