J.K. Simmons didn’t win an Oscar till he was nearing his 60s, but before Whiplash, he’d already been an established thespian and welcome regular of screens big and small. Among his most beloved roles — along with Vernon Schillinger on Oz and Dr. Emil Skoda on Law & Order — was J. Jonah Jameson, the barking publisher of the Daily Bugle from the Tobey Maguire-era Spider-Man films. Two Peter Parkers later, Simmons returned for a cameo in the mid-credits sequence of Spider-Man: Far from Home. And as caught by The Hollywood Reporter, he’s back once more in a new promo for what may be Spidey’s final dance with the MCU.
The ad takes the form of a newscast — or is it a web show? — with Jameson moving from publisher to anchor. Simmons’ character was always stridenly anti-Spidey in the Maguire trilogy, and his hatred hasn’t chilled with age or corporate hopscotching. The MCU version of Jameson uses his screen time to rail against Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, writing him off as a “psychopath wielding powers he has no right to possess, trying to pass himself off as a hero.” He adds, “Let me tell you something kid you’re no hero. Mysterio — that’s a hero. You’re a criminal, a miscreant, a masked marauder, a menace.”
Jameson didn’t carry over into the Andrew Garfield era, and Simmons’ Far from Home bit was his first screen appearance as the character since 2007’s Spider-Man 3. (Into the Multi-Verse did feature a Jameson cameo, but it was by voice actor Adam Brown.) And Simmons was AWOL with good reason: Those iterations didn’t have Parker take a side job as a newspaper photographer at the Bugle. (The Holland Peter, unlike the perpetually cash-strapped Maguire Peter, doesn’t need the extra dough: He’s got Stark Enterprises and Avengers gear and presumed riches.)
Does we’ll be seeing more of Simmons’ Jameson in the future, even as a loudmouth hothead taking up real estate on a 24/7 news network? Who knows! Literally anything is possible after Spider-Man’s forced divorce from the MCU. But more J.K. Simmons is always a good thing.