Disney has unveiled the full cast list for Zootopia, and naturally the film has been well-stocked with name-brand actors willing to lend their distinctive tones to something their kids might be able to watch.
Following his stunning feature debut with Whiplash, we’ve been excited to see where director Damien Chazelle will go next. That place is La La Land, a new film that reunites the Gangster Squad and Crazy Stupid Love duo of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. But the film has one other reunion up its sleeve: J.K. Simmons will re-team with his Whiplash director for the upcoming project.
J.K. Simmons — along with Michael Keaton — recently parted ways with Kong: Skull Island, but he still has some other (potential) big franchise plans. Simmons was one of the best parts of the mostly not-great Terminator Genisys, fully committing to his role as a frazzled cop and genuinely appearing to have fun with the film, which really needed it. The actor has now revealed that he’s signed on for more Terminator sequels, guaranteeing that if there are more of these movies, we can at least look forward to his part in them.
Universal is on quite a hot streak lately, with four of the top ten movies of 2015 so far including Jurassic World (the biggest movie of the summer), Furious 7, and Pitch Perfect 2. The studio doesn’t have a ton of big-ticket franchises, and they’re really the only major studio that’s not in the superhero game, but the brands they do have, people love. People love Jurassic Park, and the Fast & Furious movies, and those adorable little Minions, whose movie comes out in a couple weeks. People also love King Kong, which is why Universal’s rebooting that franchise as Kong: Skull Island, a new take on the old monster movie about the giant, soulful ape with a thing for blondes.
Throughout the marketing for Terminator Genisys, we haven’t really seen much (if at all) of J.K. Simmons, who appears to play a detective who helps Emilia Clarke’s Sarah Connor in the upcoming prequel-sequel-alternate timeline-something-or-other. That changes now with a new TV spot in which the recent Oscar-winner features prominently, also offering up some new footage from the film.
Luc Besson is responsible for making Liam Neeson the action hero we all know and love, and it looks like he could possibly do the same for J.K. Simmons with The Lake — which will sadly not be directed by Besson, though he provided the screenplay. The Oscar-winning actor has joined the cast of Besson’s latest action thriller alongside 300: Rise of an Empire star Sullivan Stapleton.
Of all of the big sequels opening this summer, Terminator: Genisys is easily the strangest of the bunch. Simultaneously a sequel and a reboot, the film follows the template of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, using time travel to overwrite everything we know about this series so the characters can play in a wild new sandbox. Although we still don’t know the exact shape of that sandbox, a new batch of images from the film give us a look at the players in it, including Arnold Schwarzenegger’s aged Terminator, Emilia Clarke’s Sarah Connor and J.K. Simmons’ Detective O’Brien.
Before he made the Oscar-winning film Whiplash, writer/director Damien Chazelle made a short film called “Whiplash,” an excerpt from the feature script with the same characters, one of the same lead actors, and much the same story. J.K. Simmons, who won an Academy Award last week for his performance as the brutally abusive music teacher Mr. Fletcher, first played the role here. Miles Teller, who played ambitious drummer Andrew Neiman is MIA though; his part is played by Johnny Simmons from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, 21 Jump Street, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
It was only a matter of time, really, but that doesn’t make this new Whiplash mashup video any less awesome. Some clever human beings have edited together footage from Whiplash with footage of Animal from The Muppets playing drums, obviously, and the results are super funny and super cute and absolutely wonderful.
It seemed inevitable, and there were some other great contenders, but J.K. Simmons has been awarded the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor at the 2015 Academy Awards. Simmons took home the statue for his fantastic, unnerving role as Fletcher, the intimidating band instructor in Whiplash.