We had mixed emotions when we heard Oscar-winning actor J.K. Simmons would portray Commissioner Gordon in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. While we were delighted that an actor of his gravitas would succeed Gary Oldman in playing the comic book stalwart, we couldn’t help but feel a tinge of disappointment that the news effectively ruled out Simmons returning as J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Focusing on the positive though, Simmons should be an excellent fit for Gordon and the actor spoke about his approach to playing the character with Collider (via Squareeyed), revealing that he isn’t well-versed in the source material but has watched previous iterations.
“I’m still a couple of months out from doing that and I have two other films before then, so I haven’t gotten started on that,” he said when asked whether he had begun reading the comics.
“Obviously, a lot of really wonderful actors have played that character previously, and most of them I saw at the time the movies came out, never imagining that I would be doing the same thing.
“So, I can’t say that I don’t have some impression of that character in my head that’s based on what I saw, but I’m not planning on going back and watching any of the other films. I’m just planning on learning as much as I can about him through the comics and getting my feet wet in the first movie, and then hopefully continuing on from there.”
Simmons related playing Gordon to his time in theatre acting: “I’m sure there will be differences and similarities with what Gary Oldman or Pat Hingle have done before, but I’m just going to try to do my take on it and be as informed as I can about the rich history of the Batman universe, going into it.”
Gordon is an entirely different character to the irascible Daily Bugle editor from Spider-Man however and there certainly won’t be much comic relief from Batman’s long-time collaborator in Justice League (not that there will be comic relief from anyone).
“There are easy comparisons to make,” he explained. “I wasn’t a big comic book reading kid, so I did a fair amount of reading when I was playing Jameson, who was very much the comic relief in those movies. Even in the comics, he was a blowhard who was all bark and very rarely bite.”