Michael Fassbender’s serial killer thriller The Snowman is one of our most anticipated movies of the fall, and for good reason. The latest trailer for it gives an extremely creepy Girl with the Dragon Tattoo vibe, as a serial killer re-emerges from hiding with the first fallen snow and embarks on his next killing spree, which turns out to be a lot more than what it looks like on the surface.
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.