When it comes to superhero movies, casting is extremely important to the fans. Fans want to see the characters they know and love basically leap off of the page and onto the screen. There have been many perfect castings such as Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. One that often gets overlooked is J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Bugle whose main job in life is to paint Spiderman as a criminal. Simmons performance as this character is simply iconic and we now have video showing the early stages of this performance.
J.K. Simmon’s screen test for J. Jonah Jameson pic.twitter.com/sNYFxNYiLS
— Daily Raimi Spider-Man! (@EARTH_96283) July 17, 2021
A new video has surfaced online showing Simmon’s screen test as Jameson. It shows J.K. Simmons reading the characters first lines in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man where he tells his staff to put out an ad calling for pictures of Spiderman. The video has been out for a while, but it’s trending once again. This is a much more subdued performance as we don’t necessarily get Simmons going full Jameson. He doesn’t have the hair, the mustache, or the cigar. However, it clearly shows the idea that Simmons had in his portrayal of this character.
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This performance made a huge impact with fans as many refer to Simmons as an absolute highlight of the Sam Raimi trilogy. While the quality of the films can be up for debate, Simmons as Jameson remained perfect throughout the trilogy. His performance also created several memes, including his iconic laugh which he delivers when Tobey Maguire asks to be paid in advance. Maguire’s timid Parker going up against Simmons’ crude and aggressive Jameson is perfection.
Since Raimi’s trilogy, we haven’t had another live-action performance of Jameson in a Spiderman movie. The Andrew Garfield films didn’t feature Peter Parker working as a photographer for the Daily Bugle so Jameson never showed up. His most recent appearance was in a post-credit scene in Spiderman: Far From Home where he unveiled the footage of Mysterio revealing the true identity of Tom Holland’s Spiderman.
Since the Spider-Man trilogy, Simmons has portrayed other iconic roles in both live-action and vocal performances. In 2015, Simmons won an Academy Award for Whiplash, where he played a psychopathic drum teacher who made Jameson look like a sweetheart in comparison. Many also know him as Tenzin in The Legend of Korra and, most recently, Simmons garnered acclaim for his voicework as Omni-Man in Invincible. This role also created an onslaught of hilarious memes, even though Omni-Man may just be his most violent character yet.
It isn’t confirmed whether Simmons will reprise his role as Jameson in Spiderman: No Way Home. However, since he officially has appeared in the MCU, we may still be getting more of him as this character. This version of Jameson is different, abandoning the newspaper to go digital in a podcast-type environment. With many rumors about multiple Spidermen and villains from other films, it’s possible we may see both versions of Simmons as Jameson when No Way Home debuts this December.
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