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WME Signs Blake Lively

By | Tuesday December 17, 2013 @ 9:01am PST
Mike Fleming

NBlake Lively has signed with WME. The former Gossip Girl star starred in the Rebecca Miller-directed The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee, the Ben Affleck-directed The Town and the Oliver Stone-helmed Savages. She’s next booked to star with Ellen Burstyn and Harrison Ford in Age Of Adaline. Lively left CAA recently, and WME seems a good place to land. Her husband, Safe House star Ryan Reynolds, made the same move not long ago. Lively continues to be managed by Management 360′s Justin Grey Stone and attorney Jeff Bernstein.

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Don Winslow Novel ‘California Fire And Life’ Heads For Big Screen

By | Wednesday July 18, 2012 @ 10:36am PDT
Mike Fleming

California Fire And Life MovieEXCLUSIVE: Hutch Parker Entertainment has partnered with producer Shane Salerno to develop Savages author’s Don Winslow’s bestselling 2007 thriller California Fire And Life. The producers will be going out to screenwriters and filmmakers shortly.

California Fire And Life tells the story of Jack Wade, once a rising star cop who fell from grace in a scandal and now makes his living as an arson investigator. His cardinal rule is “don’t get involved”, but when Jack sees the charred corpse of a young woman that has been written off as an accident, he becomes obsessed with hunting down the killer. Both Savages and Winslow’s new novel The Kings Of Cool are on the bestseller list. Read More »

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‘Savages’ Author Don Winslow Hits A Double On Bestseller Lists

Mike Fleming

In my view, there hasn’t been a quality author more underrated than Don Winslow. He hooked me with The Winter of Frankie Machine and Power of the Dog, but various turns in turnaround hell on his movies has made him a well kept secret for close to two decades. While I think that Universal miscalculated by moving the Oliver Stone-directed Savages from its fall berth to last weekend on not enough screens (the films Ted and Magic Mike provided stiff competition in the counter-programming to blockbusters niche that the studio sought for Savages), Winslow’s novel Savages has just gotten back on The New York Times bestseller list, and so has The Kings of Cool, his recently released prequel to the audacious drug tale. Read More »

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FX Acquires Commercial TV Premiere Rights To ‘Amazing Spider-Man’, ‘Savages’

By | Monday July 9, 2012 @ 5:41pm PDT

FX says both will come to the network in late 2014. Previously, FX locked up five of the six No.1 titles this summer including The AvengersMen in Black 3Snow White and the Huntsman Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, and Ted. The network’s other summer movie acquisitions include PrometheusAbraham Lincoln: Vampire HunterThat’s My Boy, and Battleship.

Related: #1 ‘Spider-Man’ Blazes $341.2M July 4th Week; Hits ‘Ted’, ‘Brave’, ‘Magic Mike’ Still Hot; New ‘Savages’ Warm, ‘Katy Perry’ Cold

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#1 ‘Spider-Man’ Blazes $341.2M July 4th Week; Hits ‘Ted’, ‘Brave’, ‘Magic Mike’ Still Hot; New ‘Savages’ Warm, ‘Katy Perry’ Cold

July 6-8 Weekend Actuals

1. The Amazing Spider-Man 3D (Columbia/Sony) Week 1 [4,318 Theaters] PG13
Friday $20.5M, Saturday $23.7M, Sunday $17.9M Weekend $62M, Cume $137.0M
International Cume $201.6M, Global Cume $338.6M

2. Ted (Universal) Week 2 [3,256 Theaters] R
Friday $10.6M, Saturday $11.9M, Sunday $9.7M, Weekend $32.2M (-41%), Cume $119.8M International $15.0M, Global Cume $134.8M

3. Brave 3D (Pixar/Disney) Week 3 [3,891 Theaters] PG
Friday $6.3M, Saturday $7.8M, Sunday $5.5M, Weekend $19.6M (-43%), Cume $174.0M, International Cume $36.6M, Global Cume $210.6M

4. Savages (Universal) NEW [2,628 Theaters] R
Friday $5.7M, Saturday $5.6M, Sunday $4.7M, Weekend $16.0M

5. Magic Mike (Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,120 Theaters] R
Friday $6.1M, Saturday $5.6M, Sunday, $3.9M, Weekend $15.6M (-60%), Cume $72.8M

6. Madea’s Witness Protection (TPerry/Lionsgate) Week 2 [2,161 Theaters] PG13
Friday $3.5M, Saturday $4.1M, Sunday $2.6M, Weekend $10.2M (-60%), Cume $45.8M

7. Madasgascar 3 3D (DreamWorks Anim/Paramount) Week 5 [2,861 Theaters] PG
Friday $2.4M, Saturday $3.1M, Sunday $2.1M, Weekend $7.5M (-37%), Cume $195.9M

8. Katy Perry: Part Of Me 3D (Insurge/Paramount) Week 1 [2,730 Theaters] PG
Friday $2.7M, Saturday $2.5M, Sunday $2.0M, Weekend $7.1M, Cume $10.2M

9. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) Week 7 [884 Theaters] PG13
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $1.9M, Sunday $1.2M, Weekend $4.5M (-8%), Cume $26.8M

10. To Rome With Love (Sony Classics) Week 3 [806 Theaters] R
Friday $865K, Saturday $1.4M, Sunday $867K, Weekend $3.1M (+350%), Cume $4.9M

SUNDAY AM, 10TH UPDATE: This big $200M moviegoing weekend is bringing out crowds post Fourth Of July and looking +28% from last year. Sony/Columbia’s The Amazing Spider-Man is an easy #1 with a $65M first weekend. That gives the 3D reboot a 6-day total of $140M through Sunday and $341.2M cume worldwide. The film opened last weekend in 13 countries and this weekend is open in a total of 70 territories. It grossed an estimated $129.1M this weekend, bringing the overseas cume to $201.6M. In North America, the film sold $20.6M in tickets on Friday, then went up 15% on Saturday to $23.8M, and is expected to do approximately $20.5M today. ”In the world of relaunched franchises, this is a  spectacular success by any measure,” Sony gushed. For example, Batman Begins relaunched with $48.7M in 2005 and $79.5M in its first 6 days. For the Spidet reboot, 75% of the audience for the opening were general moviegoers aged 12+, and 25% were families (parents with children under 12). Of those 12 years old or older, 58% were male and 42% female, 46% were under age 25 and 54% were 25 and older. Of the children who attended under 12, 65% were boys and 35% were girls, while 73% were under 10 years old. The film received an ‘A-’ Cinemascore “and that strong word of mouth is also supported by our own exit scores with very high definite recommend numbers across all demos,” Sony said. Approximately 44% of the weekend’s gross came from 3D with IMAX accounting for 10%. IMAX took in $14.3M for the 6 days ($47K per screen). All in all a nice haul, but only middling when it comes to top moneymakers for any first 6-day time period. Especially considering Spidey is Marvel’s most popular character. Little wonder that Sony is fast-tracking the next installment of its new trilogy with fresh villains and storylines that should spark more interest and box office in this too-soon reboot that was just a retread of the original origins saga.

Meanwhile, Universal’s #2 holdover Ted is still strong domestically with a $32.5M domestic weekend and a fantastic 10-day cume of $120.2M. Audiences were starved for a smart laugher. It’s now eclipsing Hangover as the biggest R-rated comedy. Both Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane can write their own ticket by Monday. (I still can’t believe Fox passed…) The foul-mouthed teddy bear also will be the #1 film in Australia this weekend after opening against the web-spinner. Ouch! Overseas total from just Down Under and Taiwan is $15M.

Related: ‘Ted’ Opens ‘Off The Charts’ In Australia

The newest major studio film, Oliver Stone’s adult crime drama Savages, is looking like $16.1M for the weekend. That’s a better than expected opening for a violent ‘Hard R’ pic with no proven stars. As you know, Universal made the decision to move this R-rated actioner from the safe harbor of a September 28th release (where The Town, a similar R-rated crime film, performed so well in 2010) to this very crowded summer slot. As a result, Savages could only release on 2,627 screens. Dumb move? Those better-than-average trailers made this look like a perfect fall movie. But the studio felt midweek numbers would be better and Savages could counterprogram Ice Age 4 next weekend. On the other hand, audiences gave Savages only a ‘C+’ CinemaScore, which will result in poor word-of-mouth. Good thing it was made for only $45M.

Struggling is the $12M low budget Katy Perry’s Part Of Me which will do around $7.1M for its first weekend and $10.2M for its first 4 days in release. “I guess it will take 5 days to gross its budget,” a Paramount exec joked about the Insurge pic’s cold reception at the box office. Earth to Hollywood: no one cares about Katy beyond a handful of tween/teen girls. Not even Russell Brand anymore.

Meanwhile, Woody Allen’s critically panned To Rome With Love from Sony Classics exanded into the Top Ten based on weekend estimates. Refined numbers in the morning along with analysis of the 10-day holiday box office:

1. The Amazing Spider-Man 3D (Columbia/Sony) Week 1 [4,318 Theaters] PG13
Friday $20.6M, Saturday $23.8M, Weekend $65M, Cume $140M
International Cume $201.6M, Global Cume $341.2M

2. Ted (Universal) Week 2 [3,256 Theaters] R
Friday $10.5M, Saturday $11.8M, Weekend $32.5M (-49%), Cume $120.2M
International $15.0M, Global Cume $135.2M

3. Brave 3D (Pixar/Disney) Week 3 [3,891 Theaters] PG
Friday $6.2M, Saturday $7.7M, Weekend $20.1M, Cume $174.5M
International Cume $36.6M, Global Cume $211.1M

4. Savages (Universal) NEW [2,628 Theaters] R
Friday $5.6M, Saturday $5.6M, Weekend $16.1M

5. Magic Mike (Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,120 Theaters] R
Friday $6.1M, Saturday $5.5M, Weekend $15.6M (-60%), Cume $72.2M

6. Madea’s Witness Protection (TPerry/Lionsgate) Week 2 [2,161 Theaters]
Friday $3.4M, Saturday $4.1M, Weekend $10.2M (-60%), Cume $45.8M

7. Madasgascar 3 3D (DreamWorks Anim/Paramount) Week 5 [2,861 Theaters] PG
Friday $2.3M, Saturday $3.0M, Weekend $7.7M, Cume $196.0M

8. Katy Perry: Part Of Me 3D (Insurge/Paramount) Week 1 [2,730 Theaters] PG
Friday $2.7M, Saturday $2.4M, Weekend $7.1M, Cume $10.2M

9. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) Week 6 [884 Theaters] PG13
Friday $1.3M, Saturday $1.9M, Weekend $4.6M, Cume $26.8M

10. To Rome With Love (Sony Classics) Week 3 [806 Theaters] R
Friday $860K, Saturday $1.3M, Weekend $3.5M, Cume $5.2M
Read More »

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‘Savages’ Co-Writer Shane Salerno Options Edgar-Winning ‘The Lock Artist’

By | Thursday June 14, 2012 @ 12:58pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Shane Salerno, who teamed with Oliver Stone and Don Winslow to adapt Winslow’s novel Savages, has acquired film rights to the Steve Hamilton novel The Lock Artist. Published by St. Martin’s Minotaur imprint, the novel won the Edgar Award for Best Novel. Salerno will co-write the script with the author and produce the film. They will look to secure a filmmaker shortly.

The Lock Artist is about a young criminal who doesn’t say much but can open anything with a lock on it. Trained by an eccentric genius and owned by a Detroit mobster, he’s rented out as a lock picker for hire to a daring and outlandish gang of youth thieves pulling jobs in Los Angeles. His challenge is to get out before they get caught, and get back to the woman he loves. Salerno is following the same strategy as on Savages, which Universal releases July 6. He and Winslow developed the novel directly with Stone and then it was acquired by Universal in a multi-studio bidding battle. It took only 11 months from the original option deal until the film was in production, with Salerno exec producer. Salerno and Winslow also teamed to adapt Satori, another Winslow novel that Salerno sold to Warner Bros with Leonardo DiCaprio attached to star. Salerno separately brought celebrated crime novelists Chuck Hogan and Winslow together to write a spec script that he’s producing. Salerno also wrote and directed a feature … Read More »

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‘Savages’ Clips Introduce Lead Characters In New Oliver Stone Film: Video

By | Tuesday June 12, 2012 @ 1:15pm PDT

Here are five clips released by Universal to promote Oliver Stone’s new film Savages with cast members Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro and Blake Lively. The movie is set to open in the U.S. on July 6. The first video features Johnson, with the rest on the jump.

Read More »

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Universal Battles For Latino Audiences

By | Thursday April 26, 2012 @ 10:30pm PDT

In its continuing campaign to lure Latino audiences to its movies, Universal debuted a trailer specifically targeting this market titled Summer of Battles during tonight’s Billboard Latin Music Awards on Telemundo. The two-minute Spanish-English ad combines footage from the studio’s upcoming summer movies Battleship, Snow White And The Huntsman and Savages starring Latino favorites Salma Hayek, Benicio del Toro and Demian Bichir. The premise is “Three Intense Battles. One Spectacular Summer. Only in Theaters”.

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Hot Trailer: Oliver Stone’s ‘Savages’

Mike Fleming

Universal has released its first trailer for Savages, the Oliver Stone-directed adaptation of the bestselling Don Winslow novel about two pot growers from Laguna who are muscled by a Mexican drug cartel. When the cartel kidnaps the woman they share, the growers come up with a novel but dangerous way to pay the ransom. The film stars Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Benecio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, Emile Hirsch and Demian Bichir. The script was written by Shane Salerno & Winslow & Stone. Universal was impressed enough to move the film from fall into the July 6 slot. The trailer will play in front of American Reunion.


Movie TrailersMovie News

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Simon & Schuster Shifts Pub Date Of ‘Savages’ Prequel To Coincide With Film Release

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 4:06pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Simon & Schuster has moved the publication date of the Don Winslow novel The Kings Of Cool from fall to June 26. The move was made to bring the book closer to the launch of Savages, the Oliver Stone-directed adaptation of Winslow’s novel that stars Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson and Blake Lively. The Kings Of Cool is a prequel to Savages. After seeing Stone’s cut, Universal Pictures moved Savages from September 28 to July 6, where the film’s summer setting seemed more appropriate and because it seemed like a neat counterprogramming to some of those summer behemoths. S&S is also releasing the Savages movie tie-in novel May 29, and the trade paperback movie tie-in novel on June 5.

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Universal Moves Oliver Stone’s ‘Savages’ From Fall To July 6 Opening

By | Tuesday January 31, 2012 @ 6:47am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Looks like Universal Pictures smells a summer hit in Savages, the Oliver Stone-directed adaptation of the bestselling Don Winslow novel. After screening a cut late last week, the studio has moved the film up to a July 6 slot. It had been scheduled to be released September 28. That puts it right in the heat of the summer with a shot at counter-programming against the tentpoles. Sony opens The Amazing Spider-Man on July 4 and Fox’s Ice Age sequel opens July 13 (along with the Universal-distributed Seth MacFarlane-directed comedy Ted). The Dark Knight Rises follows on July 17.

Scripted by Shane Salerno & Winslow & Stone, the film focuses on Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch), two pot growers who refuse to knuckle under to a Mexican cartel and then have to find a way out after the cartel kidnaps the free-spirited girl they share (Blake Lively), who’ll be killed if the pot growers don’t capitulate and pay a huge ransom. They do it by ripping off the cartel’s shipments, a most dangerous game. The film also stars Benicio Del Toro, freshly Oscar-nominated Demian Bichir, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Emile Hirsch, Twilight Saga‘s Mia Maestro and Salma Hayek. Simon & Schuster recently announced it would publish a prequel novel by Winslow to coincide with the film’s fall release, and it will be interesting to see if the publisher moves … Read More »

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L.A. On-Location Filming Up 15% In 3Q

On-location filming in Los Angeles increased by 15.4% year-over-year during the third quarter, helped in part by eight feature film shoots in the region that were supported by the California Film & Television Tax Credit. The films — which include Warner Bros’ Ben Affleck-directed Argo and period L.A. mob pic Gangster Squad, as well as Screen Gems’ Steve Harvey book adaptation Think Like A Man — certainly help the industry’s case when it comes to touting the value of the state tax credit, an annual $100 million program that recently was renewed for one year rather than a hoped-for five years after it was hacked back by the state Senate in committee. Overall, since its 2009 launch the program has brought $3.8B in economic output and supported 20,040 jobs — and elevates quarterly on-location production numbers like the ones released today by FilmL.A.

Also during the third quarter, non-tax-credit films like Oliver Stone’s Savages contributed to the feature production uptick — the sector grew 49.9% compared with last year. TV production grew 5.8% in the quarter but wasn’t helped by a slide in drama as Los Angeles lost 10 one-hour series this season. “Unfortunately, our summer prediction of diminished third quarter TV drama production was spot-on,” FilmL.A. president Paul Audley said. “While the California state incentive brought six television dramas to Los Angeles this quarter, we’ve seen other jurisdictions capture an unusually high number of these economically beneficial projects.”

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Universal Sets Dates For Three Pics

By | Thursday June 16, 2011 @ 1:36pm PDT

Universal announced today that it will release Oliver Stone’s ensemble thriller Savages, starring Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively and Aaron Johnson, on Sept. 28, 2012; Illumination Entertainment’s sequel Despicable Me 2, with its original voice cast that includes Steve Carell, on July 3, 2013; and the Tom Cruise starrer Oblivion, the Joseph Kosinski-directed sci-fi adventure about an ex-soldier who is the last survivor on an Earth devastated by a war with an alien race, on July 19, 2013.

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Don Winslow To Write Prequel To ‘Savages’ As Oliver Stone Ramps Up Production

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Simon & Schuster has made a deal for Don Winslow to write a prequel novel to Savages, his bestseller that forms the basis of the film that Oliver Stone will begin shooting for Universal Pictures July 6, with Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Emile Hirsch, Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro starring. Simon & Schuster’s Jofie Ferrari-Adler acquired the book from CAA. The Story Factory made his publishing deal.

Savages, a book that got wide acclaim last year before its paperback publication (The New York Times named it one of the top 10 books of 2010), focuses on a couple of Laguna-based pot growers who are muscled by a Mexican drug cartel that kidnaps O, a young woman who’s their best friend and occasional bed partner. Faced with an impossibly high ransom, the growers begin hijacking the cartel’s own shipments to ransom back their friend. That book has something of a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid climax, so a sequel wasn’t in the cards. The idea of the prequel book came from Shane Salerno, who wrote the movie script with Winslow and Stone. The prequel fleshes out the relationship between the pot growers (played by Kitsch and Johnson) and O (played by Lively), and will add interaction with characters from Winslow’s other novels that include The Winter of Frankie Machine and The Power of the Dog. Winslow is already deep into the writing and … Read More »

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TOLDJA! Universal Nearing ‘Savages’ Deal

Mike Fleming

Despite the laughable claim of exclusivity just now by another outlet, I can report that Deadline’s March 19 scoop about Oliver Stone’s Savages heading to Universal is getting closer, but it’s not closed yet. They are now in exclusive negotiations, but they are still ironing out details. Still, as Deadline told you, Universal will be the distributor when all is done. Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch and Benicio Del Toro are set to star in the adaptation of the Don Winslow bestseller, with a script by Shane Salerno and the author. Salma Hayek is also in talks. Two other studios had been in discussions.

Johnson and Kitsch are set to play Ben and Chon, two best friends who are growers of primo pot in Laguna and who share an unusual relationship with a trippy beauty named O. Not only are they all best friends, she has been lovers with each guy. Their lucrative zen existence is interrupted by a visit from the drug enforcer Lado (Del Toro) who tells them they will have to work for his boss, a Mexican cartel matriarch (the role Hayek is in talks to play). When they refuse, O is kidnapped, the growers are forced to come up with an outrageous ransom which they accumulate by ripping off the matriarch holding their friend hostage.

Stone is right now testing actresses to play O, the role that was going to be played by Jennifer Lawrence … Read More »

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Benicio Del Toro In ‘Savages’ Talks

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Benicio Del Toro is signing on to play a deadly drug cartel enforcer in Savages, joining Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch in the drama that Oliver Stone is directing, based on the Don Winslow bestseller. The project is moving toward a potential deal with Universal, though two other studios remain in discussions. Johnson and Kitsch are set to play Ben and Chon, two best friends who are growers of primo pot in Laguna. They share an unusual relationship with a trippy girl named O. Not only are they all best friends, she has a relationship with each. Their quiet lucrative life is interrupted by a visit from the drug enforcer Lado (Del Toro) who tells them they will have to work for his boss, a Mexican cartel matriarch. When they refuse, O is kidnapped, and they are forced to come up with a fortune in ransom. They plot to do it by hijacking the cartel’s drug supply, right under the nose of Lado, who is highly suspicious.

Stone is honing the script with Shane Salerno and Winslow. Jennifer Lawrence was going to play O, until she was set for the lead in the Gary Ross-directed The Hunger Games at Lionsgate. I’m told that Stone has cast a wide net for O, looking at established names and unknowns. Salma Hayek is also in the mix for the role of the Mexican … Read More »

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Oliver Stone In Talks With Universal, Taylor Kitsch For ‘Savages’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Savages, the Oliver Stone-directed adaptation of the Don Winslow novel, is zeroing in on a distribution deal. Universal is in pole position with two others in the running. Along with Aaron Johnson, Stone is in talks with Taylor Kitsch to play the two Laguna-based pot growers arm-twisted into working for a Mexican cartel when they kidnap O, the free spirited best friend of the growers. Kitsch, best known for Friday Night Lights and a showy small role as Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, just starred in Universal’s Battleship after completing the title role in Disney’s John Carter of Mars. The distribution situation should be resolved within the next week, but I’m hearing Universal will wind up with the picture.

Aside from Johnson and Kitsch, I’ve heard Stone is looking at Salma Hayek to play the cartel matriarch, an iron-fisted beauty who becomes intrigued and practically maternal over the kidnapped gal. But business is business, and the drug kingpin is suddenly plagued by a problem: someone is ripping off her drug shipments. What she doesn’t know is it’s the guys she’s trying to muscle. Kitsch plays Chon, an iron-hard former operative who is a remorseless killer and seems to only have room in his heart for his growing partner and O. Jennifer Lawrence has fallen out of the O role because of her commitment to The Hunger Game, and Stone … Read More »

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Aaron Johnson Offered Leads In ‘Savages’ And ‘Anna Karenina’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: At a time when the Hollywood movie star landscape is being made over with new faces, Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson is cementing his place in this new order. He has been offered two lead roles in high profile films with strong scripts and A-list directors, in parts that have been pursued by all the young guys. I believe he’ll do both films.

I’m told that Johnson has been offered one of the two male leads in Savages, the Oliver Stone-directed drama about two best friend pot growers who share a gorgeous lady and a huge problem: their pot is so good that a Mexican drug cartel has kidnapped their gal and will kill her if the growers don’t go to work for the cartel. That pic, which has a script by Shane Salerno and Don Winslow (who wrote the novel on which the movie is based) will shoot in June. Jennifer Lawrence is Stone’s first choice to play O, the kidnapped free spirited sexpot, but her commitment to The Hunger Games (Deadline told you last Friday that was happening) has made her participation uncertain at the moment.

Johnson has also been offered the romantic lead role alongside Keira Knightley in Anna Karenina, the adaptation of the Tolstoy classic tragic love story that has a script by Tom Stoppard and will be directed by Atonement helmer Joe Wright for Working Title. That film will likely shoot in the fall, so Johnson … Read More »

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Oscar Nominee Jennifer Lawrence In Talks For Oliver Stone’s ‘Savages’

By | Thursday February 10, 2011 @ 3:14pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominated Winter’s Bone star Jennifer Lawrence is in talks to star in Savages, the Oliver Stone-directed adaptation of the bestselling novel by Don Winslow. Shooting will begin in June.

The book is a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid-style love triangle between two best friend pot growers and O, the wild child girlfriend they share.  O will be played by Lawrence, who has become widely courted for roles since  studios saw her performance as the teenager desperate to save her family home in Winter’s Bone.  Somehow, sharing a bed with O created no discord in the relationship between brainy botanist Ben and Chon, a hardcore ex-Navy SEAL who returned from Afghanistan with top-quality pot and a total lack of remorse for killing to protect his pals. They live a quiet lucrative existence in Laguna Beach, growing and distributing their primo pot. Stone has been meeting with top actors to play Ben and Chon, a list that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Aaron Johnson, Tom Hardy, James Franco and Tron Legacy‘s Garrett Hedlund. He’s also courting Benicio Del Toro for the role of an Mexican drug cartel enforcer sent to muscle Ben and Chon out of business. When they resist, O gets kidnapped and the ransom is every ill-gotten cent they’ve made. They hatch a complex plan to get her back and then disappear. Read More »

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