After winning a bidding war with two other unnamed studios, Universal Pictures has landed domestic distribution rights to Oliver Stone’s adaptation of the Don Winslow novel Savages. Slated to begin shooting this June, Savages casting is still a bit of an open book as Aaron Johnson, Benicio del Toro, and Taylor Kitsch have all been offered roles in the film but are still in negotiations. Stone’s female lead is currently vacant as well with Jennifer Lawrence having to end talks after being cast in Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games.
According to Variety, both Blake Lively and Teresa Palmer have read for the part and join Olivia Wilde as potential candidates to make a turn as “O.” In Winslow’s novel, “O” is a “free-spirited friend” of Laguna Beach pot dealers, Ben and Chon. As the story goes, the dealers’ life of stoned luxury takes an unexpected turn when the Baja drug cartel kidnaps “O” in an attempt to coerce the pair to sell their product through them. For more on the project, hit the jump to check out a synopsis for Winslow’s novel.
Here’s the synopsis for Savages [from Amazon]:
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.