** Warning – this article contains spoilers from Spider-Man: Far From Home **
It’s always worth waiting after the credits of a Marvel film for any secret extra scenes, but Spider-Man: Far From Home really takes the cake when it comes to post-movie revelations.
Revealing surprise character returns, bigger questions about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a shocking twist that’s sure to feed into the next Spider-Man movie, the post-credits are well worth discussing in depth (so we have) – but first, we want to draw out one particular cameo from the first extra scene that’s sure to have delighted and surprised audiences when the character appeared.
Look away now if you haven’t had the chance to catch Spider-Man: Far From Home – obviously, we’ll be dealing with some pretty significant spoilers from hereon out.
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He came, he saw, he got himself pictures of Spider-Man – well, video, anyway. Yes, J Jonah Jameson, an eternal thorn in the side of the webbed wonder ever since the 1960s is back, and still spreading lies at the Daily Bugle.
Appearing in Far From Home’s first post-credits scene, we see Jameson – the editor/publisher of fictional New York tabloid The Daily Bugle in the comics – after doctored footage is released that appears to show Spider-Man (Tom Holland) orchestrating an attack on London, rather than the real perpetrator Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).
In the Marvel universe, The Daily Bugle has become TheDailyBugle.net, described by another news anchor as a “controversial” site that has been handed the Spider-Man footage and that now appears to be waging a war against the unmasked Peter Parker.
Appearing on a billboard, Jameson decries the now-wanted fugitive Spider-Man, praises the “hero” Mysterio and generally makes Peter’s life hell.
But more interesting than Jameson’s cameo is just who’s playing him – because in an unprecedented move, Marvel and Sony have brought back JK Simmons, the now Oscar-winning actor who played Jameson in Sam Raimi and Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man trilogy of the noughties.
Appearing in all three original Spidey movies from 2002 to 2007, Simmons’ performance as the splenetic newsman was a hit with fans, and was credited as something of a breakout role for the experienced character actor.
In the years since, fans speculated that the Spider-Man franchise would struggle to find someone who so perfectly embodied the character, and accordingly the first time the franchise was rebooted – for 2012 and 2014’s Amazing Spider-Man series, starring Andrew Garfield – Jameson was nowhere to be seen, only sending Peter angry emails as something of an Easter Egg for fans.
Now, though, he’s back, Simmons’ incarnation pulled from a parallel universe by the sheer force of his red-hot hatred for Spider-Man – although we did spot that this version of Jameson had a slightly slicker, blue-suited look, perhaps due to his on-camera shock-jock role.
Frankly, we’re glad to see him back. In the Spider-Man comics, J Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle are an essential part of Peter Parker’s world, with Peter’s photographer job there often forming his only source of income and providing cover for various missions and investigations.
Simultaneously, The Daily Bugle has also been one of the biggest recurring irritants in Peter’s life, constantly smearing Spider-Man and his heroics (usually skewed to suggest he teamed up with the criminals) due to Jameson’s irrational hatred for the wall-crawler.
Once or twice, Jameson has even created supervillains of his own to take on Spider-Man – most notably The Scorpion and the Spider-Slayers – but continues to feature him on the front page (usually with pictures staged by Peter) thanks to his bankability.
Whether the new (and old) version of Jameson will be a similarly recurring feature in Peter’s life remains to be seen, however. Was Simmons’ cameo just that, with no plans to bring him back in a larger role? Does J Jonah Jameson even have a purpose if Spider-Man’s secret identity has even been blown?
Presumably, we’ll find out in the next Spider-Man movie –Holland’s version of the character is reportedly planned to have a trilogy of solo films – but until then, we can just bask in the glow of J Jonah Jameson’s return.
JK and JJJ – truly, a cinematic match made in heaven.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is in UK cinemas now