One half of the Spider-Man: Far From Home writing duo has never seen Sony Pictures’ Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man trilogy. Spoilers follow.
Far From Home saw the surprising return of Spider-Man star J.K. Simmons as an updated J. Jonah Jameson, a departure from Simmons’ original take on the character — one co-writer Chris McKenna was admittedly unfamiliar with.
“I had never seen the original Spider-Man movies and I pitched him and everyone said, ‘No… We can’t do that!’ I’m still waiting for Sony to get me my free copies, but they never gave me the free copies,” McKenna told Variety.
“Once we realized that news would play a huge part particularly in the undergirding of the movie in terms of facts and fantasy, facts and fiction, then we played around with the idea that Mysterio would be pulling one con at the end. It became clear that it would be a perfect entree for J. Jonah Jameson. And then we were thinking, ‘How do you top J.K. Simmons?’ And you know how you top J.K. Simmons? You get J.K. Simmons.”
Would the mid-credits scene — where Jameson exposes the secret identity of Spider-Man (Tom Holland) — have played out the same with another actor?
“No, honestly. That idea had a lot of traction early on in the process,” said co-writer Erik Sommers.
“We always hoped that it would be him. And then the decision was, in what form? Was he going to be like he was before? We decided that maybe a better reflection of how things have changed, how media has changed, would be instead he’s more of this Alex Jones figure now. That was the big decision.”
Simmons’ return to a familiar role but in the new context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has since won approval from Raimi, who gave his “greatest blessings” to Simmons when the star reached out to inform Raimi Disney-owned Marvel Studios hoped to reboot the character.
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