Benicio Del Toro in Talks to Join Oliver Stone’s SAVAGES

     March 22, 2011

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Director Oliver Stone seems to be rounding out the cast for his upcoming adaptation of Don Winslow’s novel Savages. Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) and Taylor Kitsch (TV’s Friday Night Lights) are set to play two pot-growers whose shared girlfriend is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel demanding that they grow exclusively for them. Now Deadline reports that Benicio Del Toro is in talks to take on the role of the leader of the drug cartel and villain of the film.

Salma Hayek is also in discussions with Stone to play the matriarch of the cartel that becomes maternal to the boys’ kidnapped girlfriend Ophelia. Jennifer Lawrence was originally in talks to portray Ophelia, but her casting in The Hunger Games prevented her from taking the role. Stone is said to be “casting a wide net” to look for actresses to take on the leading female role. The script is currently being honed by Stone, Winslow and Shane Salerno (Shaft). Filming is set to begin in June. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the book.

savages-book-coverHere’s the synopsis for Savages:

The future is looking good for Laguna Beach, Calif., marijuana growers Ben and Chon, until they receive an ominous e-mail from the Baja Cartel. Attached is a photograph showing the decapitated bodies of other independent drug dealers. The message is clear: sell your product through us or else. Ben and Chon try to resist, but matters escalate after cartel thugs abduct Ophelia, the guys’ beautiful young playmate and accomplice, and hold her for a cool million ransom. Meanwhile, Elena “La Reina” Sanchez Lauter, the leader of the Baja Cartel, must deal with rival drug gangs and potential overthrow from within. Ben and Chon propose a trade that Elena can’t refuse, setting the stage for the violent and utterly satisfying ending. [Amazon]

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