With the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home fast approaching, much attention has been placed on returning actors from previous franchises involving the friendly neighborhood web-slinger. The Green Goblin and Doc-Ock are on their way, but J.K. Simmons was the first to reappear from Sam Raimi's original trilogy as loudmouthed reporter and Spider-Man hater J. Jonah Jameson.
Sam Raimi's three Spider-Man films were originally intended to be followed by a fourth entry but was ultimately scrapped by Sony. Luckily, many of the elements of the Raimi trilogy are being brought back for No Way Home, including the likes of Sandman to add more threats for Tom Holland's Peter Parker.
While some of the film's Multiversal villains will be quite different from how fans last remember them, the MCU's version of Jameson will only be "a slightly different character," according to Simmons.
Now, Simmons has revealed how he felt about Raimi's set of films coming to an end, in addition to discussing his experience with the MCU thus far.
JK Simmons Heartbroken by Spider-Man 4's Cancelation
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, J. Jonah Jameson actor J.K. Simmons revealed his reaction to the cancelation of Spider-Man 4, which would have originally served as a follow-up to Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man trilogy.
When Raimi's trilogy came to a close, Simmons recalled that he found it "heartbreaking" but was grateful for the opportunity to portray Jameson all the same.
"After the... Sam Raimi trilogy and then when they moved on from there, it was heartbreaking, I'm not gonna lie. And I thought 'Oh well, that was amazing fun, and I'm so glad I had that opportunity.'"
After Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures approached Simmons about the prospect of returning for Spider-Man: Far From Home, he was "thrilled" to be able to return. Simmons also noted how although Jameson's status has changed for the MCU's version, he still considers the character to be "the same blowhard" at his core:
"And then, yeah, when they came back a couple years ago and said 'Hey, guess what? We wanna revive that, y'know, gasbag of a character'...I was thrilled. And, y'know, it was just a question of, y'know, adapting him a little bit to...2019 or whenever the first movie came out. And, uh, really to me, he's the same blowhard, just instead of running a newspaper, now he runs a media empire."
What Spider-Man 4 Could Have Been
Though J.K. Simmons has luckily found a new avenue to portray J. Jonah Jameson with the MCU, it is a shame that fans will never get to see a fully-realized Spider-Man 4. Glimpses of what could have been have surfaced online through leaked storyboards, which teased that the Vulture was originally set to be one of the film's primary antagonists as played by John Malkovich.
Mysterio would have also appeared in his classic comic book costume, featured in a scene where Evil Dead actor Bruce Campbell was revealed to be under the fishbowl all along. Campbell appears in all of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films as different characters, but Spider-Man 4 would have retconned Campbell to be playing one singular character throughout the series.
The MCU has since adapted many of the characters and concepts Spider-Man 4 was going to touch upon, already using the Vulture and Mysterio for Tom Holland's first two solo films.
With the Multiverse at play though, there is always the chance that the MCU could revisit where Raimi's trilogy left off. If the rumors of Tobey Maguire reprising his Spider-Man role are true, perhaps his Peter Parker could provide some insight into how his universe continued.
Spider-Man: No Way Home releases on December 17, 2021.