The Marvel sequel will reportedly bring together numerous characters who’ve appeared in three separate iterations of the Spider-Man franchise, uniting actors who’ve previously shared the screen with versions of the web-slinger played by either Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, or Tobey Maguire.
No Way Home won’t mark the first time characters from one Spider-Man franchise have crossed over into another. 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home famously concluded with the appearance of J.K. Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson, marking Simmons’ MCU debut and the first time he’s played the character since 2007’s Maguire-led Spider-Man 3.
Simmons is expected to reprise the role in No Way Home, but there’s reason to believe his time as Jameson won’t extend beyond that film.
The Leak — Marvel is reportedly looking to cast a character described as a Tucker Carlson type for Secret Invasion, Disney+’s upcoming event series. This unconfirmed rumor, from The Direct, backs up previous claims made by scoopsters Murphy’s Multiverse and @SecretsUpdate.
The Direct reports that the character, a white male news anchor in his 50s, will appear in four of Secret Invasion’s six episodes. Carlson’s fellow Fox News host and political commentator, Sean Hannity, is also said to be a point of inspiration for the character.
The report raises one immediate (and troubling) question: why does Secret Invasion need to cast a blustery, all-American newsman when a character like J. Jonah Jameson already exists in the MCU?
So Long, J.J.J.? There’s one obvious explanation for why Secret Invasion wouldn’t just use J. Jonah Jameson as its resident newsman, and it’s that Jameson will die in Spider-Man: No Way Home. That possibility especially doesn’t seem out of the question given how much multiverse chaos No Way Home is expected to contain.
Of course, Marvel fans likely won’t be pleased if Jameson bites the dust in the upcoming film. Simmons’ performance as the character is still widely regarded as one of the best things about Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films with Tobey Maguire, and many were overjoyed to see Marvel Studios bring him back in Far From Home. Limiting his MCU tenure to just two films would undoubtedly come as a major disappointment to fans of both Maguire and Holland’s films.
It’s also entirely possible Marvel doesn’t plan on using Jameson in Secret Invasion because of the uncertain future of its deal with Sony. It’s not clear just how much — if at all — Marvel will be able to use Spider-Man characters in its films after No Way Home, which could explain the need for a new, Jameson-esque character in Secret Invasion.
The Inverse Analysis — Given how much secrecy still surrounds Spider-Man: No Way Home, it’s hard to know the nature of J. Jonah Jameson’s role. Though unconfirmed by Marvel, this Secret Invasion leak would seem to cast doubt upon the character’s MCU future.
And that’s a disappointing development, regardless of any possible reasoning behind it. Who wouldn’t love to see Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson share the screen with Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury or Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos in Secret Invasion? That’s the kind of opportunity no comic-book fan would easily pass up.
Spider-Man: No Way Home swings into theaters on December 17, 2021.