J.K. Simmons recalls ‘nerve-wracking’ audition for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man

J.K. Simmons has opened up about his “nerve-wracking” audition for the part of J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.The 65-year-old confessed he was panic-stricken when he had to take part in an “old-school, classic camera test” in front of the f…

J.K. Simmons has opened up about his “nerve-wracking” audition for the part of J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.

The 65-year-old confessed he was panic-stricken when he had to take part in an “old-school, classic camera test” in front of the filmmaker and several sceptical Sony executives to try and land the role of the bad-tempered Daily Bugle editor.

“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,” Simmons told PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing. “It was very nerve-wracking.”

Despite previously working with Raimi on movies including For The Love of the Game, the Oscar-winning actor was determined to win over the director and the movie execs to snare the part by giving them an audition to remember.

“It included a scene where the Green Goblin breaks through the windows and picks me up by the throat, lifts me up in the air, and is strangling me,” Simmons recalled. “I’m holding the script pages, reading the scene on the audition, but then at the same time, trying to…. (makes a strangling noise), pretending I’m being lifted by the neck and choked.”

The Whiplash actor was eventually hired and played the newspaper editor in Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, which starred Tobey Maguire as the web-slinging superhero.

And Simmons has become so beloved as J. Jonah Jameson that director Jon Watts didn’t consider hiring another actor to play the character for last year’s flick Spider-Man: Far From Home, in which the editor has small role at the end of the movie.

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Marisa Tomei regrets playing maternal roles in movies

Marisa Tomei regrets starting to play maternal roles in film.The 55-year-old actress has become well-known in recent years for portraying Peter Parker’s mother figure Aunt May opposite Tom Holland in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Endgame, and H…

Marisa Tomei regrets starting to play maternal roles in film.

The 55-year-old actress has become well-known in recent years for portraying Peter Parker’s mother figure Aunt May opposite Tom Holland in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Endgame, and Holland’s two Spider-Man movies, and in her latest film, The King of Staten Island, she plays Pete Davidson’s mother.

When asked if she was concerned about being boxed into mom roles, she confessed she regrets heading down that path with her acting career.

“I really regret starting down this road and I really regret starting to do that. I was, you know, talked into it… that change, and I really always felt like, ‘Oh, I could play a lot of things’. Honestly, it’s (playing a mum) probably more of a stretch than other things,” she candidly told Collider.

“I think every actor and actress has a lot of dimensions to them and if the scope of what is being written and being made is narrow, and you want to keep working, you do what you can. I tried it. It was maybe not the right road, but you know, I do try to make the most of it,” the Oscar-winning actress sadly lamented.

Despite the setback, the My Cousin Vinny star hopes to eventually land a role in which she plays a villain, or even star in a “screwball” romantic comedy.

“(I’d like to play) the femme fatale, and (be) in a (film) noir. I still think there are other aspects of even romantic comedies. I really love them, but you know really at a screwball level. There’s so many roles,” she shared.

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J.K. Simmons confirms he’s signed on for two more Spider-Man sequels

J.K. Simmons has confirmed he has signed on to star in two more Spider-Man sequels.The 65-year-old made his debut as Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man back in 2002, and reprised his character for a post-credits scene in last…

J.K. Simmons has confirmed he has signed on to star in two more Spider-Man sequels.

The 65-year-old made his debut as Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man back in 2002, and reprised his character for a post-credits scene in last year’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, which starred Tom Holland as the latest incarnation of the web-slinging superhero.

And Simmons has now revealed he signed on for at least two more sequels when he agreed to bring back the outspoken editor-in-chief on the big screen.

“I don’t know if I would use the word ‘expect’,” he said on PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing. “When we signed on for the first movie we signed a contract to do two sequels as well.

“That’s always a one-sided, well not always, but in my case, a one-sided contract where you’re committed to do it but they’re not necessarily committed to use your character in the ensuing movies.”

He also praised Raimi, who helmed the original Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire, and Jon Watts, who directed Far From Home, for working together to unite the different franchises.

“It was great to have the opportunity as these things evolve to be one of the holdovers from the previous version,” Simmons added.

Elsewhere in the interview, the Oscar-winning actor joked that wants to play the father of every famous Chris in Hollywood, following his recent work with Chris Evans on the Apple+ TV series, Defending Jacob, and Chris Pratt on The Tomorrow War.

“My career plan now is to play the father of every handsome, blue-eyed movie star stud named Chris,” he joked. “So if you’re casting out there I’m looking – Chris Pine, I’m available, and Chris Hemsworth – in either order, I mean we don’t have to go alphabetical.”

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Spider-Man 3 and Doctor Strange 2 release dates pushed back

The upcoming instalments in the Spider-Man and Doctor Strange franchises have both been pushed back by four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.Sony executives announced a further reshuffle of their release date calendar on Friday and revealed that …

The upcoming instalments in the Spider-Man and Doctor Strange franchises have both been pushed back by four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sony executives announced a further reshuffle of their release date calendar on Friday and revealed that the follow-up to Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home, starring Tom Holland, had been moved to 5 November 2021 from its original date of 16 July 2021, while the sequel to the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse had been postponed by six months to October 2022.

On the same day, Disney bosses made more changes to their schedule, announcing that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the sorcerer, would no longer be coming to cinemas on 5 November 2021, but on 25 March 2022. They have also decided to move up Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder by a week in February 2022.

In addition, Paramount officials confirmed that they are delaying the release of the seventh and eighth Mission: Impossible movies, starring Tom Cruise. The crew was preparing to film in Venice, Italy when the pandemic hit and they were forced to halt production. The seventh, which was due to be released on 23 July 2021, will now debut four months later on 19 November 2021, while the eighth will come out on 4 November 2022.

Elsewhere in release date news, Tom Holland’s much-delayed video game adaptation Uncharted has been brought forward from October 2021 to July 2021, Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson’s comedy Man From Toronto has been shifted from this November to September 2021, Chris Pratt’s post-apocalyptic thriller The Tomorrow War will now open on 23 July 2021, and the Paw Patrol movie will debut on 20 August 2021.

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Joe Russo praises Tom Holland’s ‘Oscar-worthy performance’ in Cherry

Joe Russo was blown away by Tom Holland’s “Oscar-worthy performance” in hard-hitting drama Cherry.The director/producer first worked with the British actor on Captain America: Civil War back in 2016, when he made his debut as the web-slinging superhero…

Joe Russo was blown away by Tom Holland’s “Oscar-worthy performance” in hard-hitting drama Cherry.

The director/producer first worked with the British actor on Captain America: Civil War back in 2016, when he made his debut as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man.

Since then, Joe has teamed up with his brother Anthony Russo once again to helm the upcoming movie, which sees Tom play an Army medic suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who robs banks to fund his drug addiction.

The gritty character is a far cry from the young actor’s infamous portrayal of the sweet and nerdy Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the 48-year-old filmmaker teased the possibility of an Oscar nod for Tom next year.

“I think he’s exceptional in the movie, honestly. I think it’s an Oscar-worthy performance out of him. He is shredding himself, physically and emotionally,” Joe told Collider, noting that it is a “complicated role” that spans decades in the movie. “I just think he’s exquisite in the part. He’s so compulsively watchable onscreen.”

Joe also admitted it was a bonus that Tom is so well-liked because of his critically-acclaimed portrayal of Spider-Man, as audiences will find it hard to hate his character in Cherry.

“When you’re playing a character that goes to that level of depravity, to have someone as inherently likeable as Tom playing that character, so that you continue to root for them no matter what horrible choices they make, it’s invaluable,” the filmmaker continued. “I think it really changes the entire presentation of the movie for an audience. I can’t say enough about it. I’m just really blown away by him in the film.”

Cherry is slated for release later this year.

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Tom Holland has penned screenplay with his brother

Tom Holland has used the coronavirus lockdown to finish a movie script he has been writing with his brother Harry.The Spider-Man: Homecoming star, 23, revealed he has co-written the new script with his 21-year-old sibling during a chat with U.S. late-n…

Tom Holland has used the coronavirus lockdown to finish a movie script he has been writing with his brother Harry.

The Spider-Man: Homecoming star, 23, revealed he has co-written the new script with his 21-year-old sibling during a chat with U.S. late-night host Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday.

Speaking via video link from his London home, where he is self-isolating with Harry and other pals, he said the script has now been sent off to producers in the hope it will be made into a movie.

“Harry and I have been working on the script that we’ve been writing together,” he said. “So we’ve done some really good work on that. We’ve sent that out yesterday to the first bunch of producers, which is actually more nerve-wracking than anything I’ve done in my career.”

Asked if he had any issues with being stuck at home, Tom shared that he was doing well due to the nice weather in London and being able to get drunk with his pals.

“Not really because we’re all drunk all the time,” he admitted. “We can’t complain. We have a lovely outdoor space, and the weather in London has been really nice. We’re doing fine, we’re all good.”

The star also confessed that he declared at the weekend that he was going to stop drinking alcohol for a week, but his plans to stay sober were foiled on Monday morning when he received a case of gin from Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin firm.

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Sam Raimi confirms involvement with Doctor Strange sequel

Sam Raimi has confirmed his involvement in the Doctor Strange sequel.It was reported in February that the Evil Dead filmmaker would be helming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in which Benedict Cumberbatch will reprise his role as the power…

Sam Raimi has confirmed his involvement in the Doctor Strange sequel.

It was reported in February that the Evil Dead filmmaker would be helming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in which Benedict Cumberbatch will reprise his role as the powerful sorcerer.

Raimi, who previously directed the Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire, recently spoke about his involvement with the Marvel gig, but stopped short of confirming he’ll direct.

“I loved Doctor Strange as a kid, but he was always after Spider-Man and Batman for me, he was probably at number five for me of great comic book characters. He was so original,” he quipped during a press junket to promote his upcoming Quibi series, 50 States of Fright, according to GamesRadar+.

He also talked about a scene in Spider-Man 2, in which Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson, played by J.K. Simmons, discusses what nickname he should give Doctor Octavius, who is terrorising New York City. When the name Doctor Strange is suggested, Jameson notes that it’s perfect, but “is already taken”.

“When we had that moment in Spider-Man 2 I had no idea that we would ever be making a Doctor Strange movie, so it was really funny to me that coincidentally that line was in the movie. I gotta say I wish we had the foresight to know that I was going to be involved in the project,” Raimi explained.

Raimi is believed to be replacing Scott Derrickson, who stepped down from the project due to creative differences with Marvel, although he’s still attached to serve as an executive producer. Derrickson has publicly declared his support for Raimi on Twitter.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to be released in November 2021.

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Mark Wahlberg compares Uncharted script to Indiana Jones

Mark Wahlberg has claimed his upcoming movie Uncharted will be similar to the iconic Indiana Jones action-adventure saga.The big-screen adaptation of the popular PlayStation video game franchise follows a professional treasure hunter called Nathan Drak…

Mark Wahlberg has claimed his upcoming movie Uncharted will be similar to the iconic Indiana Jones action-adventure saga.

The big-screen adaptation of the popular PlayStation video game franchise follows a professional treasure hunter called Nathan Drake, who travels all over the world to uncover historical mysteries.

Wahlberg has been attached to the project since it was announced back in 2016, and was originally set to play Drake, but was later replaced by Spider-Man star Tom Holland.

The Boston native will now portray fellow treasure hunter Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan, who acts as a mentor to Drake, and in a new interview with Collider, he revealed that the movie will be an origin story.

“It’s exciting because, without giving too much away, it’s more of an origin story. Meeting them, and Nathan becoming Nathan. Sully and him meeting, trying to not only get over on each other, but also starting to partner up and develop that relationship,” the 48-year-old shared. “It’ll be very cool. It’s the first time I’m in a movie that’s a movie. I felt like when I was reading it, I was reading Indiana Jones or Thomas Crown Affair. It’s got these great elements of these heist movies and adventure movies like I’ve never been a part of.”

The movie has been hit by a series of delays, with five different directors exiting the project before producers finally settled on Venom filmmaker Ruben Fleischer, and production postponed in order to accommodate leading man Holland’s busy Marvel schedule.

And Wahlberg joked he was replaced by the 23-year-old star because the project took so long to get off the ground.

“I was attached for years and years to play Nathan Drake and now I’m playing Sully,” he laughed. “Even with The Fighter, there was a ticking clock there. There was that biological clock. We gotta’ get going quickly.”

Uncharted is set for release in March 2021.

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Tom Holland confirms Sony had ‘wonderful plan’ to transition Spider-Man out of MCU

Tom Holland has insisted producers at Sony had a “wonderful” plan to write Spider-Man out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after talks broke down last summer.The web-slinging superhero was briefly ousted from the MCU after negotiations between heads at…

Tom Holland has insisted producers at Sony had a “wonderful” plan to write Spider-Man out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after talks broke down last summer.

The web-slinging superhero was briefly ousted from the MCU after negotiations between heads at Disney, who own Marvel Studios, and Sony Pictures, who own the screen rights to the comic book character, stalled.

A new deal was eventually announced in September, a month after talks had originally broken down, but in a new interview with MTV News, Holland revealed that Sony bosses already had a plan up their sleeves to help smoothly transition Spider-Man out of the MCU if a deal wasn’t reached.

“(The) future for Spider-Man was still very bright with Sony and we had a really, really wonderful idea how we could sort of transition into a Spider-Man without the MCU,” he said.

He also noted that Sony’s Tom Rothman and Amy Pascal were “really confident” they had the perfect idea to “make a film of the calibre that Spider-Man requires”.

Holland first played Spider-Man, and his high school student alter-ego Peter Parker, in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, and has since portrayed the beloved superhero in two standalone films – Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017, and last year’s Spider-Man: Far From Home.

A third movie will begin filming in July, and Holland told fans they shouldn’t be worried about the future of his character.

“I’m really glad to be back in the MCU and to have the team back together because I kind of feel like it’s where he belongs now,” the 23-year-old gushed, before heaping praise on Disney boss Bob Iger for bringing him onboard to help keep Spider-Man at Marvel. “It was a pretty cool experience and also the best bragging rights ever, I saved Spider-Man.”

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Sam Raimi in talks to direct Doctor Strange 2 – report

Sam Raimi is reportedly in talks to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.According to editors at Variety, the filmmaker – who helmed Marvel’s hugely successful Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire – is in discussions to join the comi…

Sam Raimi is reportedly in talks to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

According to editors at Variety, the filmmaker – who helmed Marvel’s hugely successful Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire – is in discussions to join the comic book movie studio once again, replacing original director Scott Derrickson on the project.

Last month, Derrickson announced he was departing the follow-up to the 2016 fantasy starring Benedict Cumberbatch due to “creative differences” with bosses at the studio. He will stay on as an executive producer.

Production on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is scheduled to begin in May, with Cumberbatch returning to the fold as the titular sorcerer. Benedict Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor are set to return as Wong and villain Karl Mordo, respectively, while Elizabeth Olsen will be reprising her Avengers role of Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff.

However, Rachel McAdams, who played Strange’s colleague Christine Palmer in the original, is not expected to return.

Fans are sure to be thrilled about Raimi joining the film, as his 2004 movie Spider-Man 2 is widely considered to be one of the best comic book flicks of all time.

And his three Spider-Man movies, which also starred Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, and J.K. Simmons, have raked in a whopping $2.5 billion (£1.9 billion) worldwide.

Since concluding the Spider-Man trilogy for Sony Pictures in 2007, Raimi has been kept busy as a producer, with just two movies under his belt as a director since then – 2009’s Drag Me to Hell and Oz the Great and Powerful in 2013.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is slated for release in May 2021.

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