Paramount Previews 'Silence,' 'Ghost in the Shell' and the Insanely Bonkers 'XxX: Return of Xander Cage'

Paramount Previews 'Silence,' 'Ghost in the Shell' and the Insanely Bonkers 'XxX: Return of Xander Cage'

Oct 28, 2016

In the new XxX: Return of Xander Cage trailer, Vin Diesel can be seen skateboarding on the side of a bus, then riding a motorcycle that turns into a jet ski and gives him the ability to drive under water -- all while fighting the bad guys. It's almost as if someone took the ingredients of the Fast & Furious movies, the Mission: Impossible movies and some crazy obscure action flick from the '90s destined for late night cable viewings and out popped this sequel, the third in the XxX series and second to star Diesel.

Return of Xander Cage was one of many films Paramount previewed in New York City this week for select press, and while it wasn't the most awards friendly or sexiest of the studio's returning franchises, Xander Cage's bonkers return was definitely the most memorable, and a certain type of audience (one that devours cheesy over-the-top action movies like candy) is going to love it to pieces. Following the presentation, a Paramount rep confirmed the trailer will be out very soon, probably with the excellent Arrival, in theaters November 11.

Arrival is one of five films Paramount has yet to roll out this year (see also: Allied, Office Christmas Party, Silence and Fences), and all five were on display in some form during the presentation, hosted by Paramount chief Brad Grey. "I am excited for the changes being made here at Viacom, and I am really excited for what they mean for the next chapter of Paramount,” Grey said prior to the footage presentation.

That next chapter includes a mix of smart science fiction like the wickedly colorful and action-packed Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson, and Alex Garland's follow-up to Ex Machina, Annihilation, starring Oscar Isaac, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Ghost in the Shell showed off its first trailer, set in a future Japan where cyborgs police the city. Johansson plays one such cyborg, and visual standouts include an overhead shot of Johansson's character separated into different parts, as well as a sequence where she busts into a room wearing a skin tight skin-colored one-piece, running up walls, firing off weapons and just generally kicking all of the ass, with much of the trailer set to a remix of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence." No word on when that will debut.

Also revealed was the first footage from Paramount Animation's Amusement Park, due out in 2019 and featuring the directorial debut of Pixar animator Dylan Brown. The clip, featuring two kids trying out their handmade amusement park ride only to see it go down hill quickly (literally), definitely felt Pixar-esque, right down to its adorable freckle-faced female lead. 

Other ongoing franchises like Transformers: The Last Knight, Mission: Impossible 6 and World War Z 2 were also touted, sans footage, as well as a solid upcoming slate of films from visionary directors like Darren Aronofsky (Mother), Alexander Payne (Downsizing), George Clooney (Suburbicon) and Martin Scorsese (Silence).

Speaking of Scorsese's Silence, one of the evening's highlights was the debut of that film's first trailer, which at under a minute felt more like a delicious tease. Prior to the presentation Grey touted it as another "seminal" Scorsese picture, and the trailer itself consisted of no dialogue, just a series of sweeping shots, some beautiful and some brutal -- like one where three half-naked men are strapped to giant crosses as water slowly engulfs them. 

Also screened were extended sequences from Arrival, Allied and Fences, the latter of which showed off a fantastic monologue from Denzel Washington recalling a story from his youth involving his father. Both its stars, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, are sure to be very present in the Oscar conversation this year. And watch out for Allied, too. Robert Zemeckis' film starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard definitely feels like a cousin to Pitt's Mr. & Mrs. Smith, in which two spies are also lovers, except Allied is much darker and a bit more intense in its exploration of the consequences of discovering your lover may not be who they say they are.

Here are some release dates to circle on your calendar. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be trying to figure out how, exactly, Xander Cage is able to skateboard on the side of a bus. 

Arrival (November 11)

Allied (November 23)

Office Christmas Party (December 9)

Fences (December 25)

Silence (December 23, limited)

XxX: Return of Xander Cage (January 20)

Ghost in the Shell (March 31)

Transformers: The Last Knight (June 23)

Downsizing (December 25, 2017)

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