J. Jonah Jameson has been a constant thorn in Peter Parker's life ever since the early days of #Spiderman. Jameson's declarations that Spider-Man was a menace to the public made it increasingly difficult for Spidey to build a heroic name for himself — and Jameson grossly underpaid Peter for all of those pictures!
Despite Jameson's importance to the character, he has been absent from the films since Spider-Man 3, two full reboots ago. It begs the question: if he is so important to the Spider-Man mythos, just where has he been?
Let's cut to the chase: J.K. Simmons' depiction of the character in Sam Raimi's trilogy was absolutely PERFECT. He looked exactly right and he acted precisely like the comic book version, gruff and curmudgeonly, as if he'd walked straight off the page.
So, whoever takes over the role — if Jameson even appears in Spider-Man: Homecoming and its sequels — has big shoes to fill. Some might even say that Simmons was too perfect in the role and that nobody could possibly follow him. Does Marvel perhaps need to look at the character from a new angle? If so, just how could they do it?
1. Make Him Younger
When Spider-Man was released in 2002, Simmons was 47 — so he wasn't an old man by any stretch, but arguably one way to bring Jameson into the #MCU would be to show the character as a younger man. These days, it's more likely that an editor would be in his twenties or thirties, especially at the Daily Bugle's web division.
We've already seen with Aunt May that Marvel isn't scared to change characters' ages to fit into this cinematic world. It makes total sense that Peter's aunt would be younger now than the frail, elderly lady she is in the comics, so perhaps the same could be applied to Jameson. Even if he's in his thirties, he would still be much older than Peter, after all — this is the youngest version of Spider-Man that we've seen on film yet.
2. Make Him A Woman
There have been rumors that Spider-Man: Homecoming's JJJ could be a lady. The world we live in is drastically different than the 1960s when the character was created; more and more women are in positions of power within media corporations. If Marvel wanted to move away from J.K. Simmons' portrayal, they could certainly do that by casting a woman in the role.
We just have to look at #TheCW's #Supergirl to see that this could work. Calista Flockhart's Cat Grant is a truly formidable character who demands respect; she's clearly a very successful woman who is the head of her own media empire. This could certainly be a model for Marvel.
3. Change Jameson's Job
In the age of social media, would a newspaper buy photos from a teenager anyway? The more likely approach would be to credit him using a photo from his social media! We've already seen Tony Stark has found the YouTube clips of Peter doing his spidery thing, so a news company may use that as well.
In the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, Peter joins the Daily Bugle as a part-time web designer, so perhaps this could be a way to go in the films, with Jameson as the head of an internet-based company. (We already know that Peter enjoys tinkering with old technology he finds at the junkyard; it's probably fair to assume that he would have some knowledge of web design as well.) Or we could see Jameson's mayoral run from the comics, which — if he still sees Peter as a "menace" — would make him a legitimate threat to Spider-Man.
4. The Judi Dench In Casino Royale Option
There's a very good saying that goes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," and this could very well apply here. For over 50 years, J. Jonah Jameson has been a much-loved character who is fairly essential to Spider-Man's character, so why does he have to change?
Just look at what the James Bond films did with Judi Dench. After being widely praised in her role as M in the Pierce Brosnan films, she stayed onboard for the reboot with Daniel Craig, even though it was a different continuity. Dench kept her role in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall to great acclaim. Potentially, Simmons could reprise the role in the MCU, even though it's unrelated to Tobey Maguire's films; the actor implied he would be open to this.
That said, if Marvel declines to bring back Simmons but wants to keep Jameson accurate to the comics, Hugh Laurie is a man whom I could see doing the job exceptionally well. After his performance in House as the gruff, antisocial doctor, he has certainly shown that he has the skills to play Jameson.
Whoever gets the role, let's just hope we get an amazing movie — and some amazing moments like this deleted scene:
Do you want to see J. Jonah Jameson in the MCU? Let me know in the comments!