Tom Holland, Julien Landais, Eliot Page, Carl Nassib, Zendaya, Edward Hemingway, Timothée Chalamet, Derik Igaroto, Bernie Sanders, Reno Gold, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rufus Wainwright, and More: #GAYNRDDAILY 🎄🎁⛄️ #ChristmasEveEdition

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#GAYNRD DAILY Christmas Eve Edition. Our daily round-up of news, art, and ephemera from around the web and around the globe for December 24, 2021.

COVER Merry Christmas from Derik!

 

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GOTHAM YULETIDE

MARDOK on Rudolph

 

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SANTA by Keith Giffen. Ambush Bug Stocking Stuffer #1, 1985.

THANKS BERNIE!

 

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EDWARD HEMINGWAY wishes you a Happy Holidays!

 

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BROTHERS  Director Julien Landais wishes everyone: 🎄💞🎄 Merry #Christmas! With my brother @martin.bonjourr 🎄💞🎄#Xmas #Christ ❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥

 

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A BOY AND HIS DOG Eliot Page on Christmas Eve.

 

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CHRISTMAS CAROLS by Sergio Aragones.

DRANKS with Snoop.

 

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HE WEARS short shorts.

 

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CUMMINGS balls. May I encourage you to #CheckYerBawballs?!
@cahonasscotland encourages all us to be familiar with what’s going on down in our underpants to help prevent testicular cancer, so if you haven’t checked yer baws recently I suggest you do this holiday season, or get someone to do it for you. And also maybe post a pic, like this one I did, and pay it forward!

 

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RENO’S RECIPE for Holiday hoes.

 

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AOK!

 

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The Hollywood Reporter: No Way Home debuted last Thursday — only in theaters — and domestically grossed an astonishing $50 million that night alone en route to a $260 million opening weekend, which is not only a pandemic-era record, but the second-best opening weekend of all time. And as we head into the Christmas weekend, it is already the highest-grossing film of 2021. Moreover, No Way Home landed a 94% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, which is better than Belfast (86%), King Richard (91%), Licorice Pizza (92%) or West Side Story (94%), among other Oscar hopefuls.

With those sorts of stats, it looks like an obvious contender for a best picture Oscar nomination — if, that is, you can get past its genre. (To date, only one comic book-inspired superhero movie has ever been nominated for best picture — not 2008’s The Dark Knight, not 2008’s Iron Man and not 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, but just 2018’s Black Panther.) But at a time when movie theaters and the Oscars telecast are hanging on by a thread, should that really matter? I would argue not, as did four key players behind the film — each of whom is an Academy member and has experience at the Oscar game — during conversations we had this week.

“You can ask [MartinScorsese ‘Would you want to make a Marvel movie?’ But he doesn’t know what it’s like because he’s never made one,” asserts Tom Holland — who has played the title character in the three most recent Spider-Man films, having previously established himself in the 2012 Oscar-nominated film The Impossible — in reference to journalists’ and filmmakers’ often condescending attitude toward superhero films. “I’ve made Marvel movies and I’ve also made movies that have been in the conversation in the world of the Oscars, and the only difference, really, is one is much more expensive than the other. But the way I break down the character, the way the director etches out the arc of the story and characters — it’s all the same, just done on a different scale. So I do think they’re real art.”

The 25-year-old continues, “When you’re making these films, you know that good or bad, millions of people will see them, whereas when you’re making a small indie film, if it’s not very good no one will watch it, so it comes with different levels of pressure. I mean, you can also ask Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr. or Scarlett Johansson — people who have made the kinds of movies that are ‘Oscar-worthy’ and also made superhero movies — and they will tell you that they’re the same, just on a different scale. And there’s less Spandex in ‘Oscar movies.’”

Amy Pascal, an independent producer who was chair of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group when the studio acquired the rights to Spider-Man more than 20 years ago, and who has remained with the franchise since leaving that post in 2015, says, “Just because they’re a certain kind of genre doesn’t mean they’re not quality movies.” Pascal, who at Sony presided over the campaigns for eventual best picture Oscar nominees The Social NetworkMoneyballZero Dark ThirtyCaptain Phillips and American Hustle, and subsequently produced best picture Oscar nominees The Post and Little Women, emphasizes, “We all got in this business to make movies that people want to see, that make people feel things, and I think this movie legitimately does that.”

Tom Rothman, who was a top executive at Fox when it released best picture Oscar winner Titanic and nominee Avatar, and who now holds Pascal’s former job at Sony, concurs. “Quality commerciality is really hard to do. No Way Home is superb filmmaking. And this is what the Academy needs to stay connected to.” He hastens to add, “I’m Mr. Fox Searchlight, right?” referring to the fact that in 1994 he founded that specialty division, which became known for art films that went on to Oscars, and served as its president for the next 18 years. “I love art films! I think it’s fabulous that art films are now recognized [at the Oscars] to the degree that they are — but not to the exclusion of quality commercial cinema.” He says half-jokingly about No Way Home, “We have to overcome, weirdly, the prejudice against the fact that it’s a big hit.”

Adds Kevin Feige, who worked on the first Spider-Man movie as a low-level executive and on the last three as the president of Marvel Studios, which also released Black Panther, “I think both of these types of films deserve recognition.” He hopes that Academy members will “think about the artistry that goes into storytelling that connects with a wide range of people on a very emotional level,” emphasizing, “It’s a good thing when people are in a theater and they stand up and cheer. It’s a good thing when people are wiping tears because they’re thinking back on their last 20 years of moviegoing and what it has meant to them. That, to me, is a very good thing — the sort of thing the Academy was founded, back in the day, to recognize.”

There is no denying that the Spider-Man franchise, which originated with 2002’s Spider-Man, has been one of the most consistently solid, critically and commercially, to emerge from Hollywood this century. Of No Way Home, Pascal submits, “This movie was 20 years in the making. It’s really a love letter to all of the Spider-Man movies that came before it, and to all of the people who worked those films, and to the superhero movie genre.”

 

“Like the third Lord of the Rings, this is the conclusion of an epic series, and is quality commercial cinema. Black Panther was quality commercial cinema. It is essential that the Academy does not lose its connection with quality commercial cinema.”

That argument carries even greater weight at a time when movie theaters are facing numerous and, to some degree, related existential threats: day-and-date releases and the pandemic. Feige calls No Way Home  “a celebration of moviegoing in the theater,” emphasizing, “Spider-Man wasn’t on streaming and available at home. People had to get in their car and drive to a movie theater and watch this thing with other people. That, to me, is the magic of the movies. So this has been very, very meaningful for our industry.” Rothman feels the Academy should consider that: “This is a big picture on the big screen at a moment when the big screen experience is fighting for its life. This is a chance for the Academy to strike a blow for the big screen.”

Moreover, the group contends, No Way Home — like the host of biopics and period dramas and ‘prestige films’ that most people assume the Academy will gravitate towards — has relevance to and something important to say about the world today. “This movie is about personal sacrifice for the greater good,” states Pascal. “That kind of sacrifice is what Spider-Man has always been about, but I think this movie, in particular, really hits that.” Rothman adds, “You cannot have real heroism without sacrifice. It’s in a pop context, but this character gives up everything for the greater good, and that’s why the movie is so moving.”

The No Way Home team is uniformly optimistic that today’s Academy is more open to recognizing a high-quality popcorn movie than the organization was just a few years ago. “This is why they expanded the best picture category to 10 films, for exactly this circumstance,” Rothman opines, while dismissing those who advocate for nominating No Way Home because doing so might goose the ratings of the Oscars telecast. “I don’t give a darn about the ratings on the Academy show and I don’t think that’s what it should be about. I don’t think anybody should vote for this movie because they think it would help the ratings. I think they should vote for this movie because it’s one of the 10 best films of the year.”

Feige, who also understood the best picture category expansion to have occurred “so that a wider array of films could be recognized,” further notes that the Academy, of late, has “made strides” towards greater diversity, not just in terms of race and gender, but also age and location. And Pascal, a former member of the Academy’s board of governors, notes that many of today’s members grew up with the Spider-Man franchise. “I think it would be wonderful for the Academy to recognize all kinds of movies. And I hope that since there’s a guaranteed 10 movies, and since there’s a whole new membership, maybe they will.”

Of the response to No Way Home, Holland told me, “If I’m honest, I don’t think that anything will ever match this — this is kind of the peak,” adding with a chuckle, “It’s just a shame it happened when I’m 25.” But could Holland have another career milestone right around the corner? Some industry insiders have encouraged the Academy to beg and plead for Holland — perhaps with his No Way Home costar Zendaya and/or his Spider-Man predecessors Maguire and Garfield — to host the Oscars telecast on March 27.

HAHAHA

 

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HE WASN’T ALL BAD

FACTS Makin that Yuletide #gay

CHRISTMAS or Starfleet?

THIS!

 

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THIS!

 

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GRINCH

RUFUS

 

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HARRY AND MEGAN

IF YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE

 

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TO THE BATMOBILE

MINI ME

THE ASPEN of Greece.

CHRISTMAS COLORS

 

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SPIDEY LOVE

 

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LET HIM RUIN YOUR LIFE

 

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REST IN PEACE Joan Didion.

 

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AMEN

 

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CUSTOM CLEATS

 

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AFGHAN RELIEF

 

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IT KEEPS COMING

 

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FUCKED UP families.

 

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RARE BIRDS

 

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BILLY MAXIMOFF from WandaVision. 

 

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THE GOD’S HONEST TRUTH

 

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BIG FACTS That includes its precursor Structure.

CHERI!

 

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POET LAUREATE

 

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HELLIONS Entertainment Weekly: It’s a good time to be a mutant. Ever since 2019’s House of X revamp by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz, Marvel’s X-Men and related characters have been enjoying a creative renaissance. With the living island of Krakoa now established as an independent nation-state for all mutants, X-characters have a new status quo to orient themselves around. Krakoa is refreshing because it demands new questions of a decades-old franchise. X-Force, for example, asks: What can be justified in the name of defending Krakoa? And New Mutants questions what opportunities are available to mutant children now that they no longer need to defend themselves from constant attack.

But Hellions, one of EW’s favorite comics of 2021, asks the thorniest question of all: Is there a place in paradise for the haters and losers?

The founding of Krakoa included an amnesty agreement whereby any mutants who promised to follow the laws of the new nation would be forgiven for past crimes. That means iconic X-Men like Storm now stand shoulder-to-shoulder with former mutant terrorists like Mystique. But what about the weirdos who still don’t fit in, the killers who weren’t famous enough to earn a spot on Krakoa’s government, the people no one else wants to be around? That was the mission of Hellions: To band together the mutant castoffs into a strike team capable of performing the ugly missions that no one else wanted to do, and see if in the process they could all find a place for themselves in this new society.

“I wanted to pick at some of the complicated issues that were caused by the mutant society coming together,” Hellions writer Zeb Wells tells EW. “I really like what Jonathan had done, where as long as you’re a mutant you can come live on this island because it was going to be a utopia. But there are some very weird characters who have done some very terrible things. I didn’t want it to seem like that would be brushed under the carpet, I wanted to dig into that. We could play with the larger issues of what a society does with the people who can’t fit in, or don’t want to fit in.”

Hellions reached its finale with issue 18 this month, since every X-comic is ending ahead of the miniseries event The X Lives and X Deaths of Wolverine. Those 18 issues tell a perfectly contained story with defined arcs for each of its strange characters. EW talked to Wells about how he and his artist collaborators like Stephen Segovia made it work. (Warning: As this interview goes on, more spoilers are discussed. If you’re a newcomer curious about what makes this book worth checking out, maybe only read the first few sections.)

SANTA?!

 

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AMONG THE BEST OF THE YEAR

 

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ANALOG HUMAN

 

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PARTING SHOT Merry Christmas from everyone at #GayNrd!