Don Winslow

Savages 2012

It’s tough trying to figure which side of Oliver Stone’s career Savages would fall under. Part of the director’s output is fueled by an angry that’s always unafraid to show people at their ugliest. Then there’s another side, which we’ve seen these past few years, that’s much softer. While Stone’s recent work has been far from the image of a cuddly teddy bear — with the exception of familial scenes peppered throughout Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – he’s become more empathetic towards his characters and less willing to poke fun at them, which was highlighted best by 2008′s W. Where does Savages fit between those two distinct outlooks? Somewhere comfortably in the middle. Based on Don Winslow‘s novel of the same name, Savages tells the bloody, dramatic, and comical tale of a three-way relationship taking a turn for the worst. The thinker, Ben (Aaron Johnson), and the doer, Chon (Taylor Kitsch), run a business together, providing some of the best weed in California. With business and life going too well, others attempt to cash in on their success, namely Elena, a major drug kingpin who features both genuine charm and ferocity, played by Salma Hayek. When Ben and Chon decline her business proposal, Elena hits them closest to home: their shared lover, O (Blake Lively). To get her back, Ben and Chon wage a small-scale war, attacking both the business and family side of Elena’s life.

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The other day, I labeled Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter as the “wild card” of the summer, and if there’s any other film which comes close to its riskiness (or more so?), it’s Oliver Stone‘s adaptation of Don Winslow‘s book of the same name, Savages. Stone’s pic is an unconventional summer movie: an R-rated, hard-edged movie for adults. Based on what I’ve heard from the positive test-screenings, which led to the film getting bumped up to a summer release, Savages lives up to that riskiness, with Salma Hayek and John Travolta possibly being the two standouts. Now, with over a month until release, some terrific behind-the-scenes pics from the film have been released (via Oliver Stone’s website and the film’s Facebook page). Take a peak of a bloodied up Blake Lively and Benicio Del Toro‘s lovely evil ‘stache after the break:

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Oliver Stone’s adaptation of the oppressively hip Don Winslow novel Savages’ has been making a lot of waves on FSR today. First we showed you the teaser for the film, something like the trailer for the trailer (a new marketing trend that could get hilariously annoying if it becomes more pervasive), and now we’ve got the the full length trailer for the film; which adds some actual plot description to the loud noises and sexy imagery of the teaser.

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Warner Bros. has just picked up the next great Leonardo-DiCaprio-will-so-totally-kill-you thriller, an adaptation of Don Winslow’s novel Satori. The studio isn’t wasting much time, setting DiCaprio to star as genius assassin Nicholai Hel in the film, which will be adapted by both screenwriter Shane Salerno and Winslow himself. The two recently paired up to write the script with Oliver Stone for the director’s upcoming adaptation of another Winslow novel, Savages. The character of Nicholai Hel was first created by author Trevanian in 1979’s Shibumi, with Winslow crafting his own work as a prequel to Hel’s adventures in Shibumi, with Satori expanding on both the man and his sprawling backstory by way of exploring his earlier years. Hel is a renaissance man to the most terrifying degree – born of a Russian mother and a German father, he was brought up by a Japanese martial expert and former general who taught him everything he knows (from fighting skills to the strategic pursuit of Go, a “complex, chess-like Japanese game”). Further research on Hel reveals another fun tidbit, he’s apparently “the world’s most artful lover.” So…that’s cool for Leo.

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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.”

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