Adapting Don Winslow’s novel “Savages” has been on Oliver Stone’s to-do list for quite some time. Well now quite a bit of news about how his efforts are coming together has come to light. I’m not familiar with Mr. Winslow’s work, so the first thing I did when trying to put together this article was figure out what “Savages” was all about. During my search I came across this blurb, apparently from the book’s publisher, that was just too hilarious not to share:
“Baditude. Bad attitude. Ben, Chon, and O have a bad case of it, but so would you if you were the twenty-something Laguna-cool producers of the best hydro on the Left Coast and now a powerful and vicious Mexican cartel wants in on your business. Ben’s a genius botanist out to save the world. Chon’s a former SEAL with a “Post-Traumatic Lack Of Stress Disorder.” O is a South Orange County slacker girl who loves them both. When the cartel kidnaps O to keep the boys in line, serious baditude breaks out in this twenty-first-century thriller that blasts through all the old rules and blows the lid off the genre. But that’s baditude for you.”
Instantly I can see why Oliver Stone would be interested in making this a movie. All of my hydro smoking Laguna-cool friends out on the Left Coast are going to go positively ga-ga over the chance to see this all up on the big screen. But onto the news! Deadline WaKeeney reports that Stone is close to securing distribution for the film. Universal is probably his best bet to get this thing moving, but two other unnamed studios are reportedly in the running as well.
But negotiations aren’t just happening in relation to the distribution; we’ve got casting rumors aplenty as well. Jennifer Lawrence was reportedly close to playing the role of O, but just like with everything else in Hollywood this week, those plans have been scrapped due to The Hunger Games. Despite this setback, the other roles are starting to get names attached. Apparently Stone is looking to get Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch to play the two growers. If you’re not familiar with their work, they’re a couple of fresh faced young white boys just like you imagine guys named Aaron and Taylor would be. Also, Salma Hayek is in consideration to play the matronly leader of the drug cartel that Ben and Chon run afoul of. Sign me up to go see anything where Salma Hayek gets a chance to play sexy and dangerous. If all of these rumored castings are able to come to fruition, then Stone’s film version of Savages should be able to drum up just as much baditude as the original novel. And then we all win.