Original Spider-Man trilogy director Sam Raimi has yet to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe-set Spider-Man: Far From Home, but the filmmaker did give his "greatest blessings" to an actor who makes a jaw-dropping cameo appearance. Spoilers ahead.
Far From Home sees original trilogy star J.K. Simmons reprise his role as the forever miffed J. Jonah Jameson, presented here as the pundit operator of TheDailyBugle.net, an updated spin on the Daily Bugle newsman who hired Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) as a photographer in Raimi's trilogy that ran from 2002 - 2007.
"J.K. called me and said, 'Hey, they're talking about reprising my role,'" Raimi told Entertainment Tonight. "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."
Bringing in an Alex Jones-inspired Jameson in a new context — one who exposes Spider-Man's (Tom Holland) secret identity to the world — is "so cool," Raimi said.
The idea to revamp the Spidey-hating Jameson for the MCU is one that lingered since 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming. When Far From Home tackled the topic of "fake news" through the deceits of master of illusions Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), screenwriters Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna knew now was the time to introduce an updated JJJ.
"There had already been some interest in possibly using J.K. Simmons when we brought J. Jonah back, so once it was decided that we were going to reveal Peter's identity at the very end instead of the final battle, it all fell into place very naturally that J. Jonah would be involved," Sommers told the New York Times.
Added McKenna, "Something that had been floating through this entire movie was the idea of 'fake news' and how can you believe everything you see? We had been toying with the idea that Mysterio would turn Spider-Man into a villain, just like he did in the comic books, and it felt like that then tied into this J. Jonah 2.0 as the Alex Jones of the MCU."
For Raimi, who is making the press rounds on behalf of alligator-themed horror Crawl, where he acts as producer, the filmmaker admitted to Yahoo he still thinks about his never made Spider-Man 4 "all the time."1comments
"It's hard not to, because each summer another Spider-Man film comes out! So when you have an unborn one, you can't help but think what might have been," Raimi said. "But I try to focus on what will be, and not look into the past."
Spider-Man: Far From Home is now playing.