Spider-Man: Far From Home makes a number of shocking changes to the MCU, including the addition of The Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson, played once again by J.K. Simmons. The film sees Peter Parker on a trip across Europe, having to team up with Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and newcomer Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), with Simmons then being revealed in the mid-credits scene.
There has been speculation about Jameson ever since it was announced Spider-Man would be joining the MCU. He's a core component of Spider-Man's character, although Marvel did seemingly have a way around that by keeping Peter in high school for his entire trilogy. The biggest challenge wasn't in making Peter fit at The Daily Bugle, however, but in finding an actor who could live up to the standard set by Simmons in Sam Raimi's trilogy, which is rightly remembered as one of the all-time great comic book movie castings.
In the end, Marvel was able to have their cake and eat it. In a reveal that led to audible gasps in the cinema, J. Jonah Jameson has entered the MCU thanks to Spider-Man: Far From Home. Simmons is once again playing him, but it's not quite as you might expect.
J.K. Simmons Returns As J. Jonah Jameson In Spider-Man: Far From Home
Spider-Man: Far From Home is a solid and enjoyable entry into both MCU canon and Spider-Man movie history, but it's going to be best remembered for its explosive mid-credits scene. This is where the film lays out its biggest twists, to the sound of cinemagoers' jaws hitting floors. Mysterio filmed a video just before his death, making himself the hero and framing Spider-Man as the villain, while also revealing that the web-slinger is Peter Parker.
Both of those are major twists (the latter especially), but what really got fans excited was what came in between, as it was revealed just who Mysterio had sent his video to. Yes, J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. It's long been felt that replacing Simmons would be an impossible task for any actor, and Marvel Studios quite clearly agreed with that, making the decision to bring the Oscar winner back. What's perhaps most surprising is that this didn't leak before Spider-Man: Far From Home's release, which helps make the reveal pack even more of a punch. It should be clarified that this is a different version of the character to the one Simmons played in Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, and that goes for The Daily Bugle as a whole too. There aren't even any hints that they exist in a parallel universe; it's just a straight-up new character, but with the same actor.
The Daily Bugle Is Now An InfoWars-Style Website
Alongside Jameson, fans have been waiting for a glimpse of The Daily Bugle in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since the deal with Sony was struck. This is something that, unlike Jameson, they could have slipped in before now as a more innocuous Easter egg, but Spider-Man: Far From Home explains why they've never chosen to do that, because there was clearly a specific idea and vision for this version of the newspaper.
Before they had the rights to Spider-Man (and thus Jameson and The Daily Bugle), Marvel introduced The New York Bulletin as the major newspaper in New York City, most prominently seen in Daredevil on Netflix, with Ben Urich working there instead. That means there's not as much room to suddenly introduce The Daily Bugle as another tabloid newspaper - especially in an era when no one would be launching one - which is why Marvel has decided to pivot it into being a website.
Led by Jameson, The Daily Buglet.net in Spider-Man: Far From Home is a controversial platform, which is clearly inspired by real-world outlets like InfoWars, with a comparison to be drawn between Jameson and Alex Jones. It's unclear whether the politics will match up (InfoWars is an alt-right website), but given the outspoken attack on Spider-Man, it isn't much of a stretch to think so. It's also not made explicit how big they were before these events, but the Mysterio video does seem to be their breakthrough. That fits with the smart decision to call it The Daily Bugle.net specifically, which helps make it feel like a scrappier, more alternative source of (fake) news rather than something already mainstream.
J.K. Simmons' J. Jonah Jameson Looks Very Different In The MCU
When J.K. Simmons' J. Jonah Jameson turned up in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, fans were won over not just by his great performance, but simply his appearance. With his flattop haircut, expertly trimmed toothbrush mustache, and almost ever-present cigar, Simmons WAS Jameson, as if he'd been ripped straight from the pages of Marvel Comics and put on the big screen.
There might well have been a temptation to recreate that look, given how comics accurate it is, but Marvel has decided to go in a different direction, which should help avoid any confusion. Simmons is naturally bald, and they're going with that for this version of Jameson, with just some patches of dark hair, while the mustache is thicker and fuller. He looks less like Jameson from the comics, and more just J.K. Simmons with facial hair. His dress sense is slightly altered too, as compared to the usual shirt-and-tie of Jameson, the version present in Spider-Man: Far From Home isn't wearing a tie, and his accent his a little brasher. That sounds insignificant, but it further highlights how this take on the character is a more informal member of the media, rather than a well-respected and established part of the New York press.
How J. Jonah Jameson Will Be Different Going Forward
The differences between the original movie version of J. Jonah Jameson and the MCU one as seen in Spider-Man: Far From Home run much deeper than just how they look. For starters, in Raimi's Spider-Man we're introduced to a Jameson who is already an established part of that world. We've not even had a mention of him in the MCU until now, so it's a different approach to character building. It's also worth noting that it isn't guaranteed we will see Simmons' Jameson again. His appearance in the Spider-Man: Far From Home mid-credits scene is great, and definitely leaves the door open for more (which fans will want), but there's a chance this is designed as a fun, meta-cameo for viewers rather than a recurring role.
If Simmons does return in Spider-Man 3 (fingers crossed!), then there's a chance to better explore how different he is. The Jameson of the original trilogy relentlessly went after Spider-Man in his newspaper, but wasn't a totally bad person. When attacked by the Green Goblin, even with his own life at risk, he refuses to name Peter Parker as the person who photographs Spider-Man, and his initial interest in the web-slinger simply comes from selling papers. It's early days for the new take on the character, but it's hard to imagine this Jameson doing something similar from what we see in Spider-Man: Far From Home. That he isn't running a traditional newspaper, but rather a website, will impact how the character is used too. Are we going to see him yelling at his employees over Slack now?
The biggest difference, though, is that Tom Holland's Peter Parker absolutely cannot work for him. Not only does the world know who he is, but it's Jameson who outs him in Spider-Man: Far From Home. It's less of an issue with Peter in high school, but it's nonetheless a fundamental change to the character's usual story. Instead of Peter working from inside The Daily Bugle, he's going to have to be completely against it after Spider-Man: Far From Home, which paints Jameson as more of a villain as well.