Spider-Man: Far From Home is a wealth of riches, with a painfully sweet story, bombastic action, and so many Easter eggs it’ll make your head spin.
Chief among those earned moments of fan service is a cameo so incredible that the entire theater I was in burst into screaming, and I fully blacked out in sheer delight. If you’ve already seen the film, we’ve got good news: Polygon sat down with director Jon Watts to discuss just how the cameo came to be. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I highly recommend turning back now, and leaving at least this bit of wonder unspoiled. It’s too good to experience any way but firsthand.
[Ed. note: Spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home follow.]
As we learn in Spider-Man: Far From Home’s first post-credit scene, Mysterio used his dying breath to create a video of Spider-Man seemingly murdering him and orchestrating the drone strike that takes out a good chunk of London. More importantly, Mysterio has also passed along Spider-Man’s secret identity — to none other than The Daily Bugle’s J. Jonah Jameson, played by Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons.
His appearance is something of a shock, not only because of the possible multiverse implications but because it’s J.K. Simmons, who played the role in Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy. If anything, the MCU has been in the business of replacing actors, from Terrence Howard to Edward Norton, and acting like nothing happened. An actor repeating his performance across universes is unprecedented, but if there’s anyone who deserves to carry that kind of mantle, it’s J.K. Simmons.
“We thought if we’re going to have J. Jonah Jameson, it had to be J.K. Simmons,” Watts said, as to the decision to bring Simmons back. “There was never any discussion about it being anyone else because it just wouldn’t have felt right.”
As for exactly why the news mogul — now something of a YouTube shock jock — is in the new movie at all, Jameson’s reappearance was inevitable when it came to revealing Spider-Man’s alter ego.
“We always knew we wanted Spider-Man’s identity to be revealed and it felt like it had to be on some sort of news outlet,” Watts explained. “And then you start talking about, ‘Well, what is the main news outlet in Spider-Man’s world?’ And it’s always been The Daily Bugle. And when you start talking about The Daily Bugle, you start talking about J. Jonah Jameson.”
As Watts also pointed out, Simmons’ performance “isn’t dramatically different from what it was like in the Raimi films.” Rather, the fact that the Far From Home J. Jonah Jameson feels like a different character stems from how the world has changed in between now and then — and, undeniably, a more severe look.
Hopefully this means we’ll see a lot more of the newsman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’s a lot to love about Sam Raimi’s unimpeachably great Spider-Man trilogy (yes, even Spider-Man 3; no, do not at me about it), but chief among those things is J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, and it’s easy to imagine the kind of future he’ll have in the larger MCU.
I would die for J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. I love watching him yell. I would happily let him yell at me, even though I am terrified of yelling and cannot stop myself from crying when yelling occurs. I would watch an entire series of movies just about J. Jonah Jameson. I would marry him, and take care of all of his blood pressure medication. J. Jonah Jameson, turn on your location, no matter which multiverse you may be in.