Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy wasn’t all that long ago, which means many fans still have a certain image in their heads of what the universe’s characters are like. March’s Batman v Superman saw Ben Affleck and Jeremy Irons deliver new takes on Batman and Alfred, respectively. Jared Leto’s Joker is set to debut later this summer in Suicide Squad, and next year, J.K. Simmons will succeed Gary Oldman in portraying Commissioner James Gordon for DC Films/Warner Bros.’s Justice League. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Simmons revealed how he intends to stand apart from past incarnation of Batman’s GCPD pal
“People of my generation remember Commissioner Gordon as this jolly, ineffectual Santa Claus type, and I think over the years in the comics there’s definitely much more of a badass side to him,” Simmons said, likely referencing Pat Hingle’s portrayal of the role in the original ’90s quadrilogy. His Gordon, however, won’t be such a useless crime fighter. “One of the things that’s interesting to me is investigating hopefully a little bit more of that badass [side]… You’re living in a universe where it’s pretty tough to be a badass compared to somebody like Batman, but in the universe of non-superheroes I like the idea of Commissioner Gordon as a guy that can take care of himself, a guy that’s a real partner to Batman, not just a guy that turns on the bat signal and goes, ‘Help! Help, Batman!’”
While many assumed Simmons’ recent buff visage was part of his preparation to play Gordon, it turns out that’s just a happy byproduct of a fresh determination to get fit. “I feel like — this is a reference that only the 60-year-olds are going to get — but on Leave it to Beaver, Beaver’s big brother would often be in his bedroom by himself flexing his arms in the mirror and Beaver would walk in and bust him, and so I’m glad that the photos of me seven or eight years ago when I weighed 250 pounds were not circulated as widely as those photos,” he explained.
We’ll see how a jacked, badass Gordon works on screen when Justice League — once again directed by Batman v Superman helmer Zack Snyder and starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg — hits theaters on November 16th, 2017.