Oscar winner J.K. Simmons is making the jum p across the Marvel Comics/ DC Comics divide. The actor who played fiesty Daily Bugle publisher J Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s three Spider-Man films has been cast as Batman’s ally Commissioner Jim Gordon in the upcoming Justice League.
The film is set to unite the heroes of Warner Brothers’ DC Comics cinematic universe – Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) – against a threat to the world. This month’s Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice serves to help set up the film by introducing all of the characters in either main, supporting or cameo roles. Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg are all set to get their own solo films over the next several years.
While not an actor I would have immediately thought of for the role myself, I am finding it a great choice on behalf of Warner Brothers. His work in the Spider-Man films was layered with just the right amount of comical hamminess, but we know that his range is far wider from his work in films as diverse as Juno to his award-winning turn in Whiplash.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of Simmons’s casting, but they have no word as to how many films he has been contracted for. With Marvel Studios’ cinematic universe, actors are often contracted for a number of films, allowing them to crossover their characters between the various solo franchises. It would not surprise me if Warners was doing the same sort of deals with their own films’ lead and supporting characters. WItha Batman solo picture in discussion, I am sure that Simmons is set for multiple pictures.
Currently, the first part of the two-part Justice League is set to start filming next month, so we can expect to hear more casting news like this over the next few weeks. The film is set for a November 17, 2017 release, with Part Two is set to hit theaters on June 14, 2019.