We heard last week Blake Lively was the frontrunner to play Ophelia in Oliver Stone’s adaptation of Savages, though for scheduling she had to choose between Savages and Oz: The Great and Powerful. It seems Disney must look elsewhere for a Glinda the Good Witch, because Lively has signed on to Savages. Additionally, John Travolta and Uma Thurman have joined a cast that is blossoming terrifically. Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Salma Hayek, and Benicio Del Toro have long eyed roles in the film; Deadline writes confidently tonight that all four are on board.
Shane Salerno adapted the screenplay with Savages author Don Winslow. The story centers a pair of marijuana growers (Kitsch and Johnson) who get into trouble with a Mexican drug cartel. Read the full synopsis after the jump.
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]
Johnson and Kitsch star as Ben and Chon, respectively. Lively is Ophelia or “O,” if you prefer. Hayek and Del Toro are members of the cartel. Travolta will play DEA agent Dennis. Thurman will play Ophelia’s mother Paqu. This is, of course, the much anticipated Travolta/Thurman reunion audiences have been waiting for since their 2005 collaboration Be Cool.
Deadline promises there are still a few more roles to fill before production begins in June, so stay tuned for Savages casting news in coming weeks.
By the way, congratulations to Ms. Lively, who was recently (and improbably) named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2011.