“I would love to see, did he and MJ get back together? Did he become a dad? Is he still a superhero? Is he a dad and a superhero?” Jake Johnson says of his alternate universe Spider-Man from 2018’s animated hit Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. His middle-aged Peter B. Parker is saved from a downward spiral when he’s pulled into another dimension and becomes mentor to Miles Morales’s young Spidey. It’s fair to say, Peter had a lot of troubles in his own timeline.
“I really loved playing Peter B. Parker,” Johnson said in the latest episode of Hey Fandom! So much so, he really hopes he’ll be back for the upcoming sequel, though he couldn’t confirm if that was already the case.
“I actually recorded that [first] movie for, I think, it was over two years. People don’t realize, but [for] most animation, you do two or three recordings and it’s over. I lived with that character before anybody knew it was happening for so long. I loved the material. I got to record with Shameik [Moore, who voiced Morales] a lot and we got to bounce off each other. And, you know, Shameik and I became buddies, and we’re still texting and in touch.”
Bodes well for his character in the next installment, some might say. It probably also served him well that he kowtowed to the creative vision for the character, burying his own instincts to listen to those who knew best.
Leave Spider-Man to the Experts
“I relied on the creators for that one a lot,” said Johnson, of how he approached playing Spider-Man. “[Producer and writer] Phil Lord, who was the first person who contacted me to do it years before I got the part — I knew I could rely heavily on him. On [producer] Chris Miller, [too], and on our directors. It was something that I didn’t want to take on myself. I didn’t want to make too many bold choices with my version of Peter, that I personally wanted to do with it, because I know how many people really love that character. So I relied on the creative a lot. And then, Scott Gimple, the showrunner for Walking Dead, is a very old friend of mine. And I know he has a lot of passion for comics and for Spider-Man. So I texted him quite a bit also.”
One of the things he enjoyed about the experience was being a part of something that meant so much to so many different people.
“I’d never been a part of something that had a clear message that got out there,” he said. “And I thought that was a really unique and inspiring experience.”
Jurassic World: Dominion Questions
While Johnson isn’t officially announced for the Spider-Verse sequel, he was definitely set for Jurassic World: Dominion, reprising his role of Lowery, last seen in Jurassic World. Having halted when COVID-19 broke out, Dominion is now back in production in England and asked by a fan if he’d begun filming yet, Johnson explained he had not and that things were a bit in flux with his role now.
Said Johnson, “It’s actually COVID-19 [that] got in the way a little bit. We were scheduled to go out [to shoot], the timing had worked perfectly with it being in between Stumptown [seasons]. I had gotten the pages, I read the scenes, they were great. Colin [Trevorrow, Dominion director] and I had talked a bunch. Colin is not just the director and a collaborator, but a friend. He loves these characters. He loves this world and had a great take on it all. And then COVID got in our way. And so he and I have been actively talking a lot about how to make it work. So I have not started and we’re trying to find the best possible way to do it. And we are in good hands with Colin on that one. And I can say that without any BS.”
With the original trio of cast members – Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum — back together in the franchise for the first time since Jurassic Park, can we expect Johnson to be grabbing any face time with, in particular, a certain Ian Malcolm?
“That would be incredible,” he said. “You know, the truth of the matter is, is I think that with the scheduling stuff, there is most likely a rewrite going on. But I truthfully don’t know. I know that the scheduling was made [more] difficult than it was on my part, not on theirs. And so they’re trying to accommodate as best as they can.”
‘Stumptown’ and Smulders
As Johnson noted, he’s currently starring on the ABC series Stumptown, based on the Greg Rucka (The Old Guard) comic book, alongside Cobie Smulders. What’s it like to work with Smulders, who is also connected to Spidey through her Marvel Cinematic Universe role of Maria Hill?
“After doing seven years of a TV show [with New Girl], I realized the importance of liking the people you act with, because you’re with them a lot,” said Johnson. “So Cobie, I had met briefly — she was doing a reshoot for a Tom Cruise movie. And I was doing The Mummy with Tom Cruise. We were able to talk and email a little bit about how weird our meeting was. [I did] a bunch of research and asked a bunch of people and everybody who I contacted spoke nothing but the best of her. And when I met her, it was just the truth. She’s a monster talent. She’s unbelievably cool.”
Click here to see what Jake Johnson told us about his new Netflix animated series, Hoops. You can watch our full Hey Fandom! conversation with Jake Johnson below!