Travolta, Thurman, & Lively Join Oliver Stone’s ‘Savages’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 11:07 pm,

It looks like Blake Lively has decided on a vacation in Mexico over a trip to Oz. The Gossip Girl starlet was recently said to be circling Oz, the Great and Powerful and Oliver Stone’s Savages, but has now signed on for the latter. She’ll be joined by the likes of younger folk like Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson in the drug cartel drama.

That’s not the only big casting news for the latest from the Platoon/Wall Street filmmaker: Pulp Fiction duo John Travolta and Uma Thurman have both signed on for Stone’s adaptation as well.

Deadline has confirmed that Lively will play free-spirited O (a.k.a. Ophelia) – a character who makes up one-third of a love triangle with Kitsch and Johnson in Savages. The latter are playing the roles of former Navy SEAL Chon and Ben, respectively, a pair of successful pot growers who enter a dangerous game with a Mexican drug cartel – after it kidnaps O. and holds her ransom.

The cast also features more seasoned thespians like Benicio Del Toro as the brutal cartel enforcer Lado, and Salma Hayek as the Mexican cartel queen-pin Elena. Thurman is set to star as O’s mother, and Travolta will round out the acting crew by playing world-weary DEA agent Dennis – who also just happens to have two days left until retirement (kidding).

Original Savages author Don Winslow cowrote the script for Stone’s adaptation, in collaboration with Shane Salerno – a screenwriter whose credits include the 2000 Shaft movie with Samuel L. Jackson and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. Winslow’s source material is both a best-seller and generally well-regarded, so hopefully the cinematic version will turn out better than Salerno’s filmography might indicate at first glance (though, to be fair, the Shaft semi-remake isn’t terrible).

Stone’s last couple of films – the George Bush biopic W. and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – were given a moderate critical reception; similarly, neither one managed to catch fire at the box office. If there’s one constant criticism I’ve seen of the movies Stone has released over the past five years or so, it’s that they’re kind of tepid and don’t really leave much of an impression. Considering that we’re talking about the same guy who was responsible for JFK and Natural Born Killers, that’s all the more surprising.

Savages has an overall strong cast and timely subject matter, so maybe it’ll be a return to form of sorts for Stone. The film is slated to begin shooting this summer and is expected to hit theaters in 2012 – but feel free to let us know your own thoughts about the project in the meantime.

Source: Deadline

TAGS: Savages
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  1. Nice to have Travolta in something that could be fairly decent but I’m especially exited to see Benicio Del Toro and Salma Hayek as a couple Cartel bad asses? Oh…the possibilities! :)

  2. Oliver Stone was the director responsible for me becoming the movie nerd I am now. So I really hope this movie turns the tides. I remember going to see “JFK” with my father on a Sunday afternoon and being blown away because I had never seen a movie shot or edited like that before. So I instantly began watching everything with his name attached to it. But since “Any Given Sunday” it has seemed like a steady downward slope. I had high hopes for “W” but it was rushed into theatres so it could be out during the election and the film suffered because of it. And while I didn’t hate the “Wall Street” sequel. Like it’s mentioned here it left almost no impression with me at all. So my hopes here are that maybe all the big names coming on board means the script is really good and Oliver hits one out of the park again to remind us of better days….

  3. I guess Benicio needs the money for child support lol..

  4. I watched a scene being shot with Travolta and Kitsch and can tell you the acting and intensity is all there, Big time!

  5. —WHY is STONE wasting time on ’80’s Show’ tripe like this?
    The theme has been done-to-death.

    WHY isn;’t STONE, in 2012, taking up such subjects as

    —the 200th Anniversary of the Defeat of Napoleonic Globalism at Moscow?

    –the 100th Anniversary of the Jeckyl Island banking coup against the Republic?

    —-the 40th Anniversary of the NIXON-MAO handover summit?

    ——or the 60th Anniversary of teh KOREAN WAR???

    It’s 2012 and STONE —-is AWOL!