Major Spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home below.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

The original Spider-Man trilogy’s director, Sam Raimi, has recently shared his praises for J.K.Simmons’ return. The actor portrayed the hot-headed Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson and has yet again been cast in this iconic role for Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Raimi’s trilogy began in 2002 with a bang and ended rather divisively in 2007 with Spider-Man 3. Since then, he has not worked within the superhero genre but, nonetheless, his Spider-Man movies left their mark and arguably paved the way for the MCU alongside Nolan’s Batman movies and Fox’s X-Men franchise.

One of the key reasons people adore Raimi’s movies are the side characters and many fans have since proclaimed that it would be near impossible to top Simmons’ take on Jameson with Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man movies avoiding the Bugle on-screen entirely. However, the original trilogy ended twelve years ago and so it is unlikely that the general audience will be confused by the return of Simmons.

Related image
J. K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy.

Raimi’s Blessing.

When Raimi sat down with ET’s Ash Crossan for an interview this week, he shared a little story about how he gave his blessing to Simmons. Raimi said: “J. K. called me and said,

“Hey, they’re talking about reprising my role.’ I said, ‘With all my greatest blessings,’ cause I love Spider-Man and I love J. K. and I’d love to see more of him.”

– Sam Raimi

From what Sam Raimi spoke about, it is evident that he is as big a fan of the casting choice as us fans are and it is wonderful to see the talent behind the original Spider-Man trilogy paying respect to the current iteration of the character. Hopefully, it will help to lessen the divide between the fans.

The new director who is helming the latest Spider-Man trilogy, Jon Watts, explained why Jameson, despite sharing the same actor, has slightly changed in this adaptation.

“What’s really interesting too is that his performance isn’t that far off from the [original]. His look is a little bit less heightened than it was in the Raimi films, but it’s weird that exaggerated, over-the-top delivery now has some real-world comparisons. The world has changed around his performance to put it in a completely different context, which is kind of fascinating.”

– Jon Watts

Watts is talking about the rise of right-wing internet personalities such as Alex Jones whose very presence in media has altered the way that Jameson appears in the modern world. Insomniac did something incredibly similar in their PS4 game with their iteration of Jameson by making him more of an internet personality than a publisher of a respected newspaper. However, Watts seems to indicate that the MCU’s take was simply a by-product of placing the character into a more up-to-date setting.

In the very same scene that we see Jameson’s return, he also reveals Spider-Man’s identity to the world which has been a divisive move on Watts’ part with some fans wanting it undone, and others wanting the MCU to embrace this risk and move forward. Nonetheless, Raimi described the fan reaction to that entire moment as “so cool.”

On to other things.

While the original Spider-Man had incredible popularity and an undeniable impact up, Sam Raimi has not re-visited the genre and, more recently, has decided to takn a step back to revisit his horror roots as a producer on Crawl which is being directed by Alexandre-Aja. It is a thriller that is set during a Category 5 hurricane which leaves a father and daughter trapped in their home as prey to a mob of hungry alligators.

Craig Flores, one of the producers of the movie, said: “it’s something we haven’t seen before. No one has really done the Jaws of alligators, and that excited Sam and it excited our director, Alex, who said [that] when I sent him the script, he read the log line and he was like, ‘I’m in!’”

Crawl is in cinemas now and sports an impressive 88% critics score and 77% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.