Oliver Stone To Tackle Drug Cartels in 'Savages'

Controversial director Oliver Stone may still be busy with his high-powered corruption sequel, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, but that isn't stopping him from thinking ahead.

Deadline is reporting that once he's done with Wall Street 2 Stone will be moving on to tackle the world of drug cartels. The project is entitled Savages and is based on a forthcoming book by the same name due out this July. Stone will be putting his all into the project by producing, directing and co-writing it along with the novel's author, Don Winslow.

Winslow will write the first draft of the script while Stone prepares for Wall Street 2's April 23rd release. After that the pair will presumably get to churning out more drafts until they get it right. From Deadline here's the plot of Savages:

In Savages, two pals from Laguna Beach pals share the same girlfriend and a thriving business growing and distributing the best-quality pot on the planet. When they resist being muscled by a Mexican drug cartel , the girl is kidnapped and the ransom is every cent they've made for the last five years. They agree to pay but hatch an alternate plan to get her back, get revenge, and then get lost.

That certainly sounds like it has potential for some thrilling and powerful viewing. Stone has decades of experience so he's got more than enough know-how to handle this material right. Not only is he directing, producing and co-writing Savages, he's also putting up his own money to fund it, which shows that he really believes in the project.

Filmmakers paying out of their own pockets is a move that's growing in popularity because it gives them a lot of control over the material. For example, Michael Mann was able to call the shots when he set up The Fields (previously Texas Killing Fields) with District 9 financier's QED, which has his daughter Ami Canaan directing Sam Worthington. And Steven Soderbergh recently got Warner Bros. to attach itself to his $60 million viral thriller Contagion when he gathered a cast that includes Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Don Winslow is poised for a breakthrough after several false starts with adaptations of his work over the last few years. One notable example is an adaptation of his book The Last Winter of Frankie Machine, which had acting heavyweight Robert De Niro set to star and had both Martin Scorsese and Michael Mann attached to direct at different points. However, for whatever reason the deal didn't work out and the rights eventually reverted back to Winslow. I assume, with attention from those kinds of people, we'll be seeing that book translated to the big screen soon enough.

Stone is hit or miss  (Platoon and JFK vs. World Trade Center and Alexander) but he's made enough good films for me to look forward to Savages.

Do you like the sound of Savages? Are you a fan of Oliver Stone as a filmmaker and is he suited to this material?

Source: Deadline

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