'Spider-Man' Casting: Iron Man's Father & Ghost Rider's Caretaker Vying For J. Jonah Jameson?

J. Jonah JamesonOne of the great tragedies about the death of Sam Raimi's fourth "Spider-Man" movie is the presumed mass cleansing of their original trilogy's cast — specifically, the removal of J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson.

Simmons' portrayal of the easily irritated Daily Bugle chief was one of the most widely appreciated facets of Raimi's "Spider-Man" films, but in order to establish a new continuity for director Marc Webb's upcoming reboot, it appears that Simmons won't have a role. That doesn't mean Triple J will be on the sidelines, of course.

Hollywood Insider reports that the "Spider-Man" team is hoping to lock down an actor to play J. Jonah Jameson as the next major piece of casting — and according to the report, two of the candidates for the part have already appeared in Marvel Comics movies.

Up first is John Slattery, currently best known for his role as immature advertising executive Roger Sterling on AMC's "Mad Men." Slattery had a brief role as Howard Stark in "Iron Man 2," playing Tony's father in a series of pre-recorded video tapes. Despite his status as a Marvel veteran, Slattery has the right balance of snark, age and rage to bring JJJ to life; the question is, can fans handle seeing him in two Marvel roles?

The second contender is Sam Elliott, who has actually appeared in not one but two previous Marvel movies: he played General Thunderbolt Ross in Ang Lee's "Hulk" and, more recently, the Caretaker in "Ghost Rider." Pushing himself to three Marvel roles might be a bit of a stretch, but more importantly, Elliott's slow southern drawl isn't exactly the attitude one pictures when imagining Jameson's big city presence.

Both actors have their merits, but in the race to play J. Jonah Jameson, Slattery gets my vote. Still, it's hard to imagine anybody replacing Simmons; if Sony can find a way to secure the sitting Daily Bugle editor-in-chief for Webb's reboot, I'd be a much happier camper.

Tell us who you would prefer to see as J. Jonah Jameson in the comments section and on Twitter!