Here’s some of the incredible work from the last week at Puck: Teddy Schleifer uncovered a new Bill Gates drama; Bill Cohan dug into a new Wall Street succession plot; Matt Belloni revealed Tom Cruise’s new holy war; Julia Alexander penetrated a Netflix hit factory; Julia Ioffe got the readout on post-Putin Europe; and Dylan Byers explained the latest turmoil inside CNN.
Check out these stories, and others, via the links below. And stick around for the backstory on how it all came together.
Lauren Sherman scoops the latest D.T.C. fashion scandal.
Bill Cohan digs into the screwy succession at one of Wall Street’s most historic banks.
Dylan Byers infiltrates the CNN bunker.
Teddy Schleifer reads the latest smoke signals from Gatesworld.
Matt Belloni scoops Tom Cruise’s new mission impossible.
Julia Alexander talks with Netflix’s secret weapon.
Baratunde Thurston reveals Tim Scott’s party of one.
Julia Ioffe has the receipts from Europe’s version of Yalta 2023.
Tina Nguyen explains the Taliban 20’s new demands of Kevin McCarthy.
Matt and television executive Gail Berman discuss the strike from the studio’s perspective on The Town.
Dylan and I discuss Elon Musk’s right-wing media fantasies on The Powers That Be.
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|My favorite part of the Puck adventure is learning from my generationally-talented partners: in particular, gleaning from their sourcing and domain expertise about what’s coming around corners. This sense of wonder and curiosity animates our work. After all, the machers and moguls and strivers and people of action who populate our cinematic universe all got to their perches by thinking three or thirteen steps ahead, preserving their optionality, etcetera.
Last week, in particular, preparations for the incoming era was the leitmotif of a number of memorable Puck stories. In The Iger-Roberts Chess Match, the peerless Bill Cohan analyzed the dealmaking calculus between the C.E.O.s of Disney and Comcast, respectively, regarding which will take over the entirety of Hulu, and for how much, and on what terms. The future of Hulu is the next great gating mechanism that will dictate the endstate of the streaming industry and the future composition of the corporate entities in Burbank and along Rittenhouse Square, among many, many others. It’s the deal that might define all future deals in the space.
Meanwhile, in a completely separate Puck realm, Tina Nguyen noted, with some surprise, that Kevin McCarthy’s antagonists in the House gave him free rein to negotiate the debt limit with the Democrats and, in the process, backslide on some promises he’d made to the so-called Taliban 20. Amid all the activity, however, Tina surmised the new set of redlines that the group has created for McCarthy and how they might prosecute a Motion to Vacate, their procedural ejection button for his speakership, in the future.
Elsewhere, in Epstein Aftershocks & A Gates Divorce Deadline, Teddy Schleifer dug into one of the most underappreciated timelines in one percent history. Next month, Bill and Melinda Gates may make some mission-critical and substantial decisions on the future of their O.G. $50 billion philanthropic institution, The Gates Foundation, which has become the standard-bearer of giving and elite public-private problem-solving. It’s not hyperbolic to say that much of the entire philanthropic industrial complex hangs on whether Melinda Gates decides to stay the course with the Foundation or receive some undefined amount of “personal resources” to accelerate her own goals.
But if you only have time to read one piece tonight, I’d direct your attention to Julia Ioffe’s powerful work on the future of Europe. In Yalta 2023: Planning for Life After the Russian Invasion, Julia reveals the inside conversation about goals for post-war Ukraine, fantasies of a modern mini Marshall Plan, and all the confusion that still centers around post-Putin life in Russia. It’s the story at the center of global diplomacy, the true story of our time, and precisely what you should expect to read in Puck.
Have a great week,