You think you know the “J.K. Simmons type” and then you look at his IMDb page. Yes, he’s played a lot of tough and scary dudes; the sadistic white supremacist on Oz, the terrifying music teacher in Whiplash, which netted Simmons an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. But for every intimidating Simmons role, there’s a softer one; the big-hearted father in Juno or the incredulous cop in the last Terminator. There aren’t too many actors who could convincingly play both bully blowhard newspaper publisher J. Jonah Jameson and crusading, confident Commissioner Gordon, but Simmons is about to in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Hollywood is so obsessed with superheroes these days they made a superhero movie about an accountant. It’s called The Accountant, and it is indeed about a guy who prepares people’s taxes, looks for deductions, and monitors financial records for fraud. But in his off-hours, this guy is also a master martial artist and a sniper capable of hitting targets a mile away. He also has a secret identity and what amounts to a low-rent Batcave, an Airstream trailer full of weapons and cash, stashed in a storage unit. He’s played by former Daredevil and current Batman Ben Affleck. He doesn’t wear a cape, but he might as well.
Another month, another trailer about talking animated animals. The latest in this category is Rock Dog, a movie about a Tibetan Mastiff who would rather be a musician than guard his herd of sheep. It’s a Chinese-American production based on the Chinese graphic novel Tibetan Rock Dog by Zheng Jun. The animation style feels a little simplistic until you really take a closer look to see the details like fur and grass and dust on a wool hat.
Warner Bros. has made plenty of decisions with its DC Cinematic Universe that don’t sit quite right with fans, but credit where credit is due, the casting of J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon is not one of them. Simmons — now available in a bulked up version 2.0 — is one of our generation’s great character actors, the rare talent who can switch from utterly terrifying to kindly paternal in the blink of an eye. Since Batman looks to Gordon as both a hard-boiled police officer and a surrogate father figure, Simmons is the perfect addition to both the standalone Batman movie and the Justice League film.
If you had any remaining doubt regarding Zack Snyder’s gritty and totally jacked aesthetic for the DC universe, look no further than J.K. Simmons. The Oscar-winning character actor is apparently getting totally ripped for Justice League, giving us a Commissioner Gordon unlike any we’ve seen before. If you were expecting the sensible sweater-wearing, gruff-yet-kindly law enforcement official you’ve come to know and admire, you’ll need to adjust those ideas accordingly.
Early details on The Accountant made the new film from Warrior director Gavin O’Connor sound like it was based on a graphic novel, even though it’s not: Ben Affleck stars as a white collar accountant who leads a double-life as a lethal assassin. So it wasn’t really surprising when WB announced plans to release a tie-in comic book for The Accountant. What is a bit surprising is the tone of the first trailer, which presents an intriguing and off-kilter drama about a man struggling with a vague mental disorder.
Just last week Oscar winner J.K. Simmons commented on fans hoping he’d return as J. Jonah Jameson in Marvel’s new Spider-Man reboot. Simmons diplomatically said, “I’ll never close the door on anything.” Well, this may slam, lock and barricade that door. The Whiplash actor has just been cast as Commissioner Gordon in Warner Bros.’ two-part Justice League movie.
The Meddler received some pretty positive reviews when it premiered at TIFF last year, promising a charming and poignant new film from Lorene Scafaria, the filmmaker behind the flawed Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. The trailer for her latest effort looks far more interesting, with Susan Sarandon as a persistent mother and recent widow who struggles to bond with her screenwriter daughter, played by Rose Byrne.
FX’s Archer made up for a late start to the year with an impressive shot-for-shot remake of the Magnum P.I. opening credits, but it seems the Tom Selleck spoof was more than homage. Our first Season 7 details confirm the former spy team will move to California to start a new agency, with guest turns from J.K. Simmons to Patton Oswalt.
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.