Spider-Man: Far From Home executive producer Eric Carroll explains the biggest problem with integrating the Daily Bugle into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the comics, Peter Parker got a job taking pictures of Spider-Man for the newspaper, an element that was carried over into the original film trilogy from Sam Raimi. However, since 2007's Spider-Man 3, the Bugle hasn't had much of a role onscreen. Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 referenced J. Jonah Jameson by having the curmudgeonly editor express his dissatisfaction with one of Peter's photos via email. Since Spider-Man became a part of the MCU, there's been no mention of the Bugle.
Fans would definitely be interested in seeing the Bugle again - preferably with the incomparable J.K. Simmons reprising Jameson once more. But in 2019, making the publication a part of a Spider-Man film isn't as easy as making a call to Simmons and getting him on set. There are a few factors the creative team has to take into consideration so that it can honor the source material, but also feel relevant to the world in which it's released.
While visiting the Far From Home set last year, Screen Rant was among the outlets interviewing Carroll, who was asked about the Daily Bugle in the MCU. Carroll hinted there's at least one nod to the newspaper in Far From Home, but couldn't go into greater detail. He then went into how the goal is to make things feel fresh:
Like, if we had an in for the Daily Bugle that wasn't just your traditional newspaper and Peter Parker...there's this cool-weird thing happening where being a photographer isn't necessarily a mark of distinction anymore. We all have better cameras in our pockets than most people owned ten years ago. So, how do we get Peter or somebody into that world without...do people really aspire to be photographers for the New York Times anymore? Or do they aspire to have their Tweet reposted and so on?
Carroll makes a solid point in that media consumption has greatly changed since even the first Spider-Man movie came out in 2002. While working at a reputable newspaper is still a goal for some would-be journalists, newspaper circulation numbers have declined over the years. It sounds like the filmmakers are interested in finding a more modern approach to the Bugle angle, rather than banking on the tradition of the original comics. That would also help the MCU's Spider-Man films feel fresh, since they'd be doing their own thing instead of rehashing what was done before. Jameson was such a signature aspect of Raimi's movies, that replicating the classic setup would likely come across as cheap imitation.
And, it's worth noting, reinventing the established mythos is nothing new for the MCU's Spider-Man. Marisa Tomei's Aunt May is much younger than previous onscreen iterations, allowing the dynamic between her and Peter to play out in a different light. And Flash Thompson is no longer a buff jock, though he's still Peter's chief nemesis. So, it'll be interesting to see what the plan is for the new Daily Bugle and how it differs from the earlier movies. Spider-Man's tenure in the MCU is still brief, but Marvel and Sony have hit all the right notes so far. Odds are, fans will be onboard with however the Daily Bugle is portrayed - be it in Far From Home or the next installment.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019