|WOLF OF WALL STREETWALL STREETRUMORS|
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who’s still currently vying for the top spot over Joe Biden in the ongoing primaries, is a cinephile, it turns out. As revealed in a recent New York Times profile of the Vermont Senator, his viewing habits are perfectly in line with the climate of the current moment — including the plummet of Wall Street and the global panic incited by the coronavirus.
“Even his amusements seem to be in character. He uses an iPad not a phone to devour social media and news, and loves to watch old boxing matches and movies like ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘Melancholia,’ a 2011 dystopian drama that ends with the obliteration of the Earth. He sings along, tunelessly, with 1960s and 1970s folk rock on car radios, takes long walks with his wife and adores his grandchildren,” the New York Times piece reads.
As Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” is about the upstart fraudster Jordan Belfort and his rise to corrupt financial power, and Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia” is a grimly beautiful vision of the end of the world as we know it, these picks seem apropos for Sanders, who’s maybe trying to tell us something through the movies he’s watching.
The current president, as we learned after the Academy Awards last month, is arguably less of a discerning moviegoer, as he trashed South Korea’s Best Picture winner “Parasite” and pined for the days of movies like “Gone With the Wind” sweeping Hollywood’s awards ceremony. Prior president Barack Obama, meanwhile, is an outspoken lover of movies and TV, annually sharing his best of the year lists via social media. On his 2019 list of the year’s best films and shows, he cited films like “Little Women,” “Parasite,” and “Marriage Story,” plus smaller gems like “Diane” and “Transit,” as well as TV shows including “Fleabag,” “Unbelievable,” and “Watchmen.”
“Melancholia” is currently streaming free on Vudu, and it’s a perfect parable for the end times, with the planet ending in glorious ruin. Scorsese’s epic “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which just gets more prescient by the day, is streaming on Hulu.
WarnerMedia parent A&T said Tuesday it's set up a new $5.5 billion loan agreement at competitive rates with 12 banks to provide additional financial flexibility to its “already strong cash position.” The loans are pre-payable without penalty, it said as it seeks to reassure the markets and employees that it’s on solid ground in uncertain times.
AT&T also noted that it has access to a fully committed $15 billion revolver loan already in place that it has no need or plans to draw on in 2020 – but it’s there in case. AT&T is the latest big media company to flesh out its cash cushion to hedge against the economic risks and unknowns of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, the company also offered a financial update, ticking off its points of financial strength, including a strong balance sheet and attractive liquidity. It said it had about $12 billion in cash on hand as of Dec. 31 and received about $4 billion from selling preferred stock in February. It also completed a share repurchase in March but has nowstopped all share repurchases.
Going forward, the company, which plans to roll out HBO Max next moth, said it expects the following to put it in a good place: • The strength and relevance of core subscription businesses, continued execution on business transformation initiatives, and sizing operations to economic activity will provide cash from operations that will support network investments, dividend payments and debt retirement, as well as the ability to invest in business opportunities that arise as the economies recover. • About $2 billion from the expected closing later in 2020 from the previously announced divestiture of CME, as well as additional proceeds from a number of other real estate and tower sales. • The company expects to close the sale of its Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands operations later this year and intends to use the proceeds to retire an outstanding preferred interest. • Continued access to commercial paper, bond markets and other financing activities which, as in the past, will be utilized as part of normal financing activity based on cost, duration and overall market conditions. • As it has for the past 36 years, the company will pay a quarterly dividend to shareholders. .
AT&T also added that its pension fund requires no cash in the near term and it doesn't expect any required contributions through 2022. The plan has allocated substantially all of the remaining assets to fixed income, preferred securities and other investments which have returns much less impacted by current equity markets.
It also emphasized that it believes its exposure to near term equipment shortages is limited given a geographically diverse supply chain.
With the Fantastic Four officially set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rumors have been swirling around who will play the superhero family, and one name keeps popping up more and more: John Krasinski, who’s not exactly shy about his desire to play Reed Richards a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic. Here’s what he previously told Esquire when asked about the role:
“I was just about to walk into the worst pun ever, but I was like, that’s a fantastic role. That would be awesome,” Krasinski said. “Marvel wrote the playbook on secrecy and awesome sort of tantalizing lay and wait until everything’s announced. I am not committed to the role or anything, but I don’t know when they’re doing it. But if and when they do it, I would love to talk to them about it.”
However, in a new interview with Comic Book, Krasinski set the record straight that talks of him playing Mr. Fantastic are simply speculative along with the new rumor that he might be directing a Marvel film:
“Wow, that’s a cool idea. It’s so interesting because I’m such a huge fan of Marvel. I think they do their own… They have such a great formula. Yeah, I’d jump in there. In Kevin [Feige] I trust. That dude is not only the most talented guy, but the nicest guy. Yeah, whatever he wants, we’d discuss it.”
Except Krasinksi isn’t the only in his family being tied to the Fantastic Four. His real-life wife Emily Blunt could be in the mix as Susan Storm, and when asked by Comic Book about the persistent rumors, she was noticeably coy. Just like Krasinski’s answer, Blunt deferred to Kevin Feige:
When asked about the Fantastic Four, Blunt knew where he was going, noting it had been a hot topic already. Killian then asked, “are you prepared for the internet backlash if you guys don’t get cast in Fantastic Four?”
“Well I don’t know, you’re gonna have to speak to Feige about it, right? No, fan casting is obviously so flattering and lovely, but I don’t see it as anything other than hypothetical until they cast someone else,” Blunt said. “I don’t know.”
On an interesting note, Krasinski auditioned for Captain America, and Blunt was originally offered the role of Black Widow, but turned it down. If these rumors are true, this would give the couple the opportunity to enter the MCU on their own terms. In the meantime, comic book fans can’t help but notice Krasinski’s very specific color choice for The Quiet Place II world premiere.Getty Image
What’s so special about Krasinski’s suit? Blue, black, and white are the exact colors of the Fantastic Four uniforms. Is Krasinski doing some low-key campaigning to catch Marvel’s eye?
Via Comic Book