Welcome back to another installment of The Monitor, WIRED's roundup of the latest in the world of culture. In today’s installment: Jeff Bezos' divorce will likely impact Amazon; the forthcoming Dune film is spicing up its cast; and Lady Gaga's streaming catalog is losing one of her most controversial hits.
Bezos' Prime Payout
Amazon honcho Jeff Bezos stands to lose millions of shares of company stock during his pending divorce, according to a Business Insider report. The company founder—who recently announced he was parting ways with his wife MacKenzie Bezos after 25 years—owns about 16 percent of Amazon's shares. Under Washington state law, BI notes, MacKenzie could be eligible to collect half of those shares, which make up a sizable chunk of the couples' estimated net worth of $137 billion. Not long after Jeff Bezos tweeted the news of the couple’s breakup, The National Enquirer published the results of a four-month-long investigation into the Amazon exec's alleged relationship with news anchor and pilot Lauren Sanchez, which the tabloid claimed involved "raunchy messages and erotic selfies." It's unclear how those revelations will affect the divorce proceedings, and TMZ reports the couple did not have a prenup. But this much is clear: By year's end, Jeff Bezos will likely be only slightly richer than the Romanoffs.
Dune It, and Dune It, and Dune It Well
The cast for director Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming Dune adaptation is shaping up: In addition to Timothée Chalamet playing young hero Paul Atreides (originally played by Kyle MacLachlan in David Lynch's 1984 version) and Rebecca Ferguson as the powerful and mysterious Lady Jessica, the sci-fi epic has now added Goldberg-machine-dismantler Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) as the cruel "Beast" Rabban, and Stellan Skarsgård as the original spice-churl, Baron Harkonnen. Villeneuve's frequent editor, Oscar nominee Joe Walker, will also be coming aboard the movie, which is set to begin shooting in March and will have to be at least 634 minutes long to incorporate even a third of Frank Herbert’s novel.
Lady Gaga plans to pull her 2013 R. Kelly collaboration "Do What U Want (With My Body)" from iTunes and other streaming services, the singer announced Wednesday night on Twitter. The song—which the two performed live in one of the more tone-deaf awards show performances of the ’00s—was a mid-sized hit for Gaga upon its release. Gaga's decision comes just days after Lifetime's series Surviving R. Kelly chronicled the history of sexual abuse allegations against the long-controversial R&B singer. "I'm sorry," Gaga wrote in her tweet, "both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner."