No matter what they say officially, Warner Bros must secretly be disappointed at the critical bashing “Batman v Superman” received, and its relatively so-so underperformance at the Box Office (US$827 million worldwide so far). But that’s not stopping them from forging ahead with their plans for the DC Extended Universe. Next up is “Justice League: Part One”, which just started proncipal photography under director Zack Snyder last Monday.
Collider recently managed to speak to JK Simmons, who plays one of the film’s supporting characters, a familiar figure in the DC world Commissioner Gordon. When asked if he read the comics to prepare for the role, the Oscar winner said: “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 likened doing a role that other actors have previously done to doing theater: “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.”
Simmons already has a history playing an iconic comicbook character, having played J Jonah Jameson in the Sam Raimi “Spierman” movies. But he doesn’t really see any similarities beyond their comicbook origins, and the mustache: “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: Part One” stars Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fischer, and [spoiler alert!], Henry Cavill. It premieres 17th November 2017.