Director Oliver Stone is filling out the cast for his adaptation of Don Winslow’s Savages. Variety reports that Demian Bichir (Che, Weeds) is in talks to join an increasingly impressive cast that now includes Benecio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Emile Hirsch, John Travolta, and Uma Thurman. The story centers on two Laguna Beach marijuana kingpins (Kitsch and Johnson) who encounter a world of trouble when their shared girlfriend (Lively) is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel. Hayek plays the leader of the cartel, Del Toro plays her right-hand-man, and Bichir is in talks to play Hayek’s two-timing attorney.
Stone has revised the script that was written by Winslow and Shane Salerno. The book’s publisher, Simon & Schuester, recently commissioned Winslow to write a prequel to the book, so if Savages is a success at the box office, we may be seeing a follow-up. Despite Stone’s lackluster work as of late, this fantastic cast gives me high hopes for the film. Production on Savages is scheduled to start on July 6th. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the novel.
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. Winslow’s encyclopedic knowledge of the border drug trade lends authenticity. [Amazon]