While his time as Spider-Man’s frenemy J. Jonah Jameson is over , J.K. Simmons is about to continue his comic book cinema adventures as he is entering the DC Extended Universe to portray Commissioner James Gordon in Justice League: Part One that is currently filming in London. It’s almost safe to say that we’ll also be seeing him in Ben Affleck’s upcoming Batman film as Commissioner Gordon is one of the major supporting players of that mythology. Recently Collider spoke with Simmons about entering this role, how he is preparing for it and more.
He spoke about doing his research for the character which includes mostly going back to the comic books and learning as much as he can from Gordon’s history in the DC Comics Universe.
“Well, to read the comics, yes, absolutely. 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. 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 also discussed the differences between Gordon and J. Jonah Jameson as characters, as well as the one and only thing that those two characters share.
“There are easy comparisons to make. 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. My understanding, from what I’ve learned so far about Commissioner Gordon, is that he’s the older guy with the mustache who relates with our hero in a certain way. Other than that, it’s a vastly different character and much more of a stronger, impactful character in the DC universe.”
In addition, he touched upon the many great actors that have played this role before and while acknowledging his admiration for those actors and what they did with this character: he will not be revisiting their films as he takes his approach on this character, the way he would do theater or a musical.
“I take this from my days doing theater. If I was doing a musical, I would never listen to the cast album because I wanted to do my version of something. 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.”
Justice League: Part One, starring Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher and Amy Adams, is currently shooting in London and is set to come out in theaters on November 17, 2017.