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WIRE Buzz: AMC hopes to reopen in June; Spielberg movie club; fan-made Lando trilogy

By Jacob Oller
AMC theaters

As the news fills with studios pulling films from the summer schedule and productions being waylaid by the coronavirus, one studio chain is looking into the future with relative optimism. Streaming has taken so much business that the traditional movie distribution model has already begun to shift, so it's no wonder that these companies are looking for bright spots in the world's post-pandemic return.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, AMC is looking for American movie theaters to reopen sometime in the summer — hopefully mid-June. AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron forecasts as much, telling CNBC's Squawk Alley on Tuesday that they "expected to be shut for six to 12 weeks. That would be May 1 to mid-June. That might be more the right timing." While Aron was clear that this was just a prediction, he remained positive that when quarantines and social distancing guidelines lightened, moviegoers would return and — one would hope — allow the theater giant to rehire much of its furloughed workforce.

"I think if we learned anything in the last two weeks is people just so want to get out of their houses," Aron said. "I think we’re all feeling cooped up and want to get out and have life return to normal." Other theatrical chains, including Canada's Cineplex, have not yet commented on when they could possibly return to business as normal.

Next, leave it to a master of American cinema to provide a classic haven for film fans stuck at home thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Steven Spielberg, the director behind so many classic movies that they'd take up the rest of the article if listed, has teamed up with the American Film Institute to bring movie lovers together during the time of social distancing.

Spielberg unveiled the AFI Movie Club in a video on Tuesday, explaining that anyone that loves movies is already a member. The club is organized around a virtual group screening of a classic movie — starting with 1939 Oscar-winner The Wizard of Oz — gathered here each day by a new guest host.

Take a look:

“I know you think you’ve seen it, but please think again because right now at this moment in our history what better message is there then ‘There’s no place like home?’” asked Spielberg.

The Wizard of Oz and future screenings will include trivia, discussion points, and more on the AFI website.

Finally, being stuck at home has inspired some genre fans to unprecedented levels of creativity. Some make fan art, some perfect cosplays, and some invent entire Star Wars trilogies (and posters for each film) centering around Lando Calrissian.

The latter case is exactly what illustrator Peter Stults did, making Billy Dee Williams the sci-fi star he was always destined to be in throwback badassery of The Calrissian Chronicles.

Check it out:

With a series of new love interests, new adventures, and new aliens, The Calrissian Chronicles look totally awesome. Han and Chewie even show up! At this point, even with Williams' return to the franchise in The Rise of Skywalker, these adventures are best left to young Lando AKA Donald Glover. Can this please be how the Solo universe continues?