Last month The Hollywood Reporter said that J.K. Simmons had been cast as Commissioner Gordon in Justice League, but we haven’t had confirmation from Warner Bros. or Simmons himself… until now! Collider caught up with Simmons recently and asked if he’d be reading comics to prepare for the role. Here’s what he had to say:
“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.”
As far as avoiding previous performances, like Gary Oldman’s in the Dark Knight Trilogy, Simmons said its something he’s been doing since his days as theater actor.
“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.”
This won’t be Simmons’ first comic book movie role. He gave an absolutely perfect performance as J. Jonah Jameson in the Sam Rami Spider-Man trilogy. Simmons isn’t expecting there to be too much in common between Jameson and Gordon.
“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.”
Justice League began production last week, though we’re still waiting for an official press release from Warner Bros. with more info on that. It’s not surprising to learn that Simmons won’t be on set for another couple of months, since Gordon probably won’t have a huge role in the movie.