Spider-Man Star J.K. Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson Screen Test Resurfaces
J. Jonah Jameson wants pictures of Spider-Man in a resurfaced video of J.K. Simmons’ 2001 screen test for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. Simmons, who previously starred in Raimi’s The Gift, won the role as the blustering Daily Bugle editor-in-chief over reported contenders like William Smith (Rich Man, Poor Man) and R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket). As the hot-headed buyer of freelance photographer Peter Parker’s (Tobey Maguire) snaps of Spider-Man, Simmons reprised the role in 2004’s Spider-Man 2 and 2007’s Spider-Man 3 before returning as JJJ — this time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Ahead of Simmons’ return in Marvel Studios and Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, the actor’s original screen test for Spider-Man 2002 resurfaced in a much-liked tweet from “Daily Raimi Spider-Man” on Twitter:
J.K. Simmon’s screen test for J. Jonah Jameson pic.twitter.com/sNYFxNYiLS
— Daily Raimi Spider-Man! (@EARTH_96283) July 17, 2021
During an appearance on PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing last year, Simmons recalled his “nerve-wracking” camera test in front of Raimi and Sony executives.
“I was doing my second film in a row with Sam, a movie called The Gift, and word got out that he was gonna be the director of Spider-Man. Some friends of mine reached out to me and said, ‘Oh hey, Sam must like you because you’ve done two things in a row. You should play the bad guy in the new Spider-Man movie!’ Fortunately for me, Sam had a better idea,” Simmons said. “The producers and the people at Sony, they needed to be convinced because obviously, there were a lot of much more high-profile actors that they had in mind that would help with the box office and that they knew they could count on. So I had to go do the old-school, classic camera test for the producers and it was very nerve-wracking.”
Starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Alfred Molina, J.K. Simmons, and Benedict Cumberbatch, Spider-Man: No Way Home opens in theaters on December 17.