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Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish & Teresa Palmer Reading For Oliver Stone’s ‘Savages’; Uni Picks Up Film

Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish & Teresa Palmer Reading For Oliver Stone's 'Savages'; Uni Picks Up Film

Update: Deadline also tosses in Abbie Cornish as a possible contender as well.

With Oliver Stone‘s drug world thriller “Savages” gearing up to shoot this summer, there is one major role yet to be cast. Earlier this month, Jennifer Lawrence exited the film citing scheduling conflicts with her new tentpole role in “The Hunger Games” leaving the casting net wide open for the female lead. Olivia Wilde was named as one of a handful of actresses vying for the part and now, a couple more names have surfaced.

Variety reports that Blake Lively — who seems to crop up on every franchise film casting list — and Teresa Palmer (“I Am Number Four,” “Take Me Home Tonight“) are reading for the part of O, the free-spirited friend of two marijuana dealers Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) who is kidnapped and held for ransom. Benicio Del Toro is signed on to play the enforcer for the drug lords with Salma Hayek eyeing the role of the matriarch of the cartel.

Universal has picked up the domestic distribution rights and will give the project a go-ahead once casting and the budget is squared away. Stone and Shane Salerno have teamed on the script and we hope the pieces fall into place. It’s the most exciting Stone project in years and it’ll be nice to see him tackle something not weighted by history or act. A loose, pulpy thriller could be just the thing to re-energize the helmer. As for O? We like Teresa Palmer for the part and think she could bring the grit it requires, but we won’t be surprised if more names surface in the coming days.

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