While Marvel may have started their own Cinematic Universe on a low-key note, with relatively unknown actors signing their lives away for pennies on the dollar, the DC Extended Universe took a completely different approach, springing for well-known, top-tier actors from the get-go. Take one look at the films Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, and it’s clear they’re by no means tentative about putting their biggest, most blatant foot forward on their films.
This trend continued for their upcoming movie Justice League, for which they cast the Oscar-winning actor J.K. Simmons in the role of Commissioner Gordon. No stranger to comic book movies, he was likely best known to fans for a time as J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. His role in Justice League, from what we know, is pretty small one, used more to set up his part in the eventual The Batman movie. A few months back, many outlets got to go on set and see Simmons as Commissioner Gordon on his first day on set.
Speaking with Collider, Simmons was asked if he would have preferred to start the shoot with a smaller scene — a scene that didn’t necessarily have him standing next to the likes of the entire Justice League.
“Yeah, well there’s not a lot of small on those kinds of sets. When you’re working with Zack Snyder, small is not the word that comes to mind — or any of those DC Universe kinds of projects.
There are two schools of thought about that for actors. it is kind of nice, in a way — especially when you’re playing a supporting part - to start out just kind of doing a little, ‘oh, and then you’re going to walk down this hall and say hi to this guy,’ and that’s your day’s work, you know. Kind of get your feet wet. Or whether it’s better to just dive in to the deep end and get some of the heavy stuff out of the way. It was fun. I mean, that whole universe is something I’m really excited to be a part of for, you know, a while down the road, hopefully.”
And regarding his costume and overall look, which looks like it's been ripped straight out of the comics:
“Well, and that’s what I wanted very much to do. And as we sort of went back and forth with Zack and I, and the wardrobe, and hair and makeup, and all those people, you know, saying how we wanted the look to be, I think we all ended up being very much on the same page.”
Admittedly, when hearing them talk about perhaps doing a “small” scene before hopping into a bigger one, I have to wonder if Commissioner Gordon is even in the movie enough to have a small scene to work with. There are so many characters in that movie already, there's probably no chance that he was given much to work with as an actor apart from a few exposition scenes.
Regardless, I’m sure Simmons will bring his A-game to the project no matter how small. He’s made most of his career on doing smaller characters roles in films, and he’s never been one to phone it in.
Justice League hits theaters on November 17, 2017.
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