Warning: Major spoiler spoilers from Spider-Man: Far From Home are ahead.
Big, huge spoilers.
You’ll never guess what previously seen Marvel character shows up in Spider-Man: Far From Home. No really, you’ll never guess, because it’s a Marvel character who’s already appeared in a movie, but not one from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Actually, not even a movie from the last decade. Seriously, the cameo at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home is wild.
In case you didn't know why the audience gasped when J.K. Simmons, as The Daily Bugle's J. Jonah Jameson, appeared, it's because he's reprising his role from the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies. Simmons is the only actor to reprise a role from a non MCU movie in the MCU, so this is a big deal. He's back, this time parodying conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and once again yelling about how Spider-Man is a menace. Aw, it's like he never left!
Simmon' first appearance as J. Jonah Jameson way back in 2002, for the first Spider-Man movie with Maguire, which now seems like a different lifetime. That movie had our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man aged up a tiny bit so he starts out as a new high school graduate and lands a job as a freelance photographer taking pictures of, uh, himself as Spider-Man. He does so for The Daily Bugle, JJJ’s newspaper. Simmons would then go on to appear in both Spider-Man 2 and 3, along with voicing the character in the tie-in video games. Even though he was never a major character for the franchise, Simmons was beloved for his loud-mouthed, cigar smoking, cranky portrayal of the newspaper editor.
In the Marvel universe, J. Jonah Jameson has long been a frenemy of Spider-Man, considering he’s always employed Peter Parker, while also labeling Spider-Man a menace to New York City. As for his new role in this Spider-Man saga, it appears to be kind of the same, with a heavy "Fake News" twist. The character, most recently in the Spider-Man video games, has also now taken on a new spin lately, as he’s become more of an exaggerated version of radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, spewing lies and outrageous claims. That’s much different than the version we saw back in the early 2000s, and not exactly the kind of person Peter wants after him.
And this new even more over the top tone is what he’s going for in Far From Home, as the post credits scene featuring JJJ has him detailing the recent destruction all over the world (exacted by Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio), and blames Spider-Man for everything. He’s got a doctored video from Mysterio (see: Fake News), that he’s more than happy to share with the world. Even worst, he reveals Peter (Tom Holland) as Spider-Man. Well... that’s not good. The scene sets up the JJJ to be a major player in future Spider-Man movies, and he couldn’t have been introduced in a better, or more shocking, way.
While Simmons popping up feels completely out of left field, the actor has dropped hints before. Back in 2017, Simmons told ET, that when it came to reprising Jameson, "Never say never. Obviously, I had an amazing time with [original Spider-Man director] Sam Raimi on those movies. That was a great time and huge for my career and my life. If there were an opportunity to revisit that [I’d consider it]."
Clearly, opportunity knocked.