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Brad Grey: Paramount ‘Energized’ by Films Like ‘Silence,’ ‘Fences’ After Tough Year

Brad Grey on Wednesday night acknowledged that it’s been a “challenging” year for Viacom and Paramount, but he said the studio is “truly energized” now, offering some knockout film clips to back up his optimism.

Paramount welcomed media members to the Sherry Lansing Theatre on the lot, and showed clips from its upcoming slate, including seven emotional and moving minutes from “Fences,” as well as a minute-long “Silence” teaser that includes the onscreen statement “Like nothing he’s done before.” Grey described the latter film as a “seminal” Martin Scorsese work.

In introductory remarks, Grey said “we welcome” the new leadership at Viacom under Shari Redstone, adding that Paramount “is very optimistic about the future.”

The studio will open five films in the next two months, starting with “Arrival” and several other Oscar hopefuls, including the Brad Pitt-Robert Zemeckis “Allied,” as well as the Denzel Washington-directed “Fences,” with scenes including him with Viola Davis, who starred together in the August Wilson work on Broadway. “Silence” opens Dec. 23 in limited release, opening wider next year.

Also upcoming is the Dec. 9 launch of “Office Christmas Party,” a comedy with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman, which got big laughs from the audience in its short clips. Among the 2017 titles glimpsed were “Ghost in the Shell,” with spectacular-looking visuals of a dark neon-lit world, and the action-packed January release “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” as well as brief peeks at the “World War Z” sequel and the Dwayne Johnson-Zac Efron vehicle “Baywatch,” among other titles.

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