J. Jonah Jameson's mustache was a must-have for returning Spider-Man star J.K. Simmons. Again reprising his role from Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi's trilogy as the blustering blowhard boss of the Daily Bugle, Simmons says he fought to keep the character's iconic mustache for his return in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Now a loud-mouthed pundit for TheDailyBugle.net in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Simmons' Spider-Man return did away with Jameson's flat-top haircut when he exposed Peter Parker's (Tom Holland) secret identity in a mid-credits scene ending 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home.
"'No, we don't want you to have the flat-top haircut,' and I was like, 'Wait, wait, wait. What?'" Simmons recalled of his reprised role on the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast. Instead, producers of the Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios co-production Far From Home wanted a balding look without the mustache.
"It was a negotiation then at that point," Simmons said. "Obviously, the most important thing is that he's still the same blowhard and he does have the same damn mustache, close to it, and cigar at least."
Simmons also essentially confirmed the MCU's Jameson is a variant of the version he played in the Spider-Man trilogy between 2002 and 2007, calling his role in No Way Home "a slightly different version."
"Certainly, from the creators of the current iteration of the story, it's a very different character. To me, it's a slightly different character. It's the same blowhard, the same guy with less hair," Simmons said. "Honestly, I kinda wish he had the same hair... As is appropriate for that character, he's a little comic relief thing that gets sprinkled lightly into the movie."
In No Way Home, Simmons reprises his Spider-Man role alongside Raimi-verse variants the Green Goblin (Spider-Man's Willem Dafoe), Doctor Octopus (Spider-Man 2's Alfred Molina), and the Sandman (Spider-Man 3's Thomas Haden Church). Jameson's return comes after Far From Home director Jon Watts and co-writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers decided the Spidey-hating JJJ — again played by Simmons — was the natural choice to reveal Spider-Man's identity to the world with Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).
"I don't know if it was Watts or someone else who said, 'It should be the Daily Bugle, and it should be J. Jonah Jameson.' That idea has been lingering around since Homecoming: How do we insert our new version of J. Jonah?" McKenna previously told The New York Times. Added Sommers, "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."
Starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Alfred Molina, Jamie Foxx, Willem Dafoe, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: No Way Home opens only in theaters on December 17.