J. Jonah Jameson is as iconic a supporting player in the MCU as Nick Fury or Agent Colson (or Alfred the Butler in the DCEU) and the role has become synonymous with JK Simmons, thanks to his part in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy in the 2000s. The salt-and-pepper flat-top hairstyle, the moustache, the cigar-chomping and the ‘constantly nearly having an aneurysm due to shouting about Spider-Man’ – have all become trademarks of the character.
And it turns out that Simmons discovered he had the part not via a phone call from his agent, but from a random guy who was plugged into the lawless internet message boards at the turn of the millennium. So, it turns out that internet leaks are not a new phenomenon.
Simmons was relatively unknown at the time and his casting as J. Jonah Jameson altered the course of his career. He would go onto win an Oscar for his supporting turn in Whiplash. His catchphrase “not my tempo” has become almost as well-known as “get me pictures of Spider-Man!” (a quote that J. Jonah Jameson has never actually said in those exact words).
As Simmons told the story, in a recent interview with The Ringer, he was stopped by a fan while walking through advertising offices in New York; “I’m walking through the cubicles and this desk chair comes flying out in front of me, backwards, with some kid who was probably 28 and he goes, ‘Oh my God J.K., congratulations!’ and I go, ‘Thank you. For what?’ and he goes, ‘Are you kidding me? Spider-Man! J. Jonah Jameson, that’s so cool!’ and I was like, ‘I did not know that…”
He continues; “I found out I got the part because of some kid who was so connected to the internet fan sites that they had that information on a Spider-Man website before my agent called me to tell me I got the job,” said Simmons. “He called me like 3 hours later and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I know.’”
You can see the interview below;
Imagine finding out that you get to play J. Jonah Jameson in ‘Spider-Man’ from a fan and not your agent. That’s what happened to J.K. Simmons.
— The Ringer (@ringer) December 1, 2021
J. Jonah Jameson will be one of the many returning faces in Spider-Man: No Way Home, along with Doc Ock and The Green Goblin. JK Simmons is also expanding on his role as another iconic supporting comic book character, playing Commissioner Gordon in Batgirl.