J.K. Simmons has never been the kind of character actor who had to look too hard for work. His IMDb page lists 145 credits, dating back to his 1986 performance as “Patrolman in the Park” (where he was billed as “Jonathan Simmons”), but his almost-sure-to-be-Oscar-nominated turn as an equally charismatic and sadistic music teacher in this year’s sleeper hit Whiplash is bound to lead to even more plum roles for the veteran actor.
Now Simmons has officially been added to the cast of Kong: Skull Island, where he’ll join Tom Hiddleston in what Deadline describes as an “origin tale” in which a group of explorers (presumably including the character played by Simmons) journey to Skull Island in what the outlet enigmatically bills as a “new, distinct timeline.” (Does that mean the distant past? The distant future? August 3, 1974?)
The film will be directed by The Kings Of Summer’s Jordan Vogt-Roberts from a script by Max Borenstein and John Gatins, and is slated to hit theaters March 10, 2017.
It is not yet known what character Simmons will play, but his turn as J. Jonah Jameson in the Sam Raimi Spider-man movies illustrates how well he can inhabit an old-timey world with old-school panache. If he knows what’s good for him, Kong better play Simmons’ tempo, or else risk having the bald force of nature get all up in his face, and not in a good way.