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In a bold move, Universal is now planning a July 6th release for Oliver Stone’s Savages, saying the film’s action and heat are better suited for summer than for fall.
Set in Laguna Beach, the crime pic–originally set to open Sept. 28–stars Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson.
Savages is based on Don Winslow’s book of the same name and follows two pot growers whose shared girlfriend is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel.
PHOTOS: 10 Biggest Book-to-Big Screen Adaptations of the Last 25 Years
Universal made the move after screening the film last week. One studio insider said the movie, with its decidedly hard R rating, is more along the lines of a Pulp Fiction than a film like Traffic (Pulp Fiction stars John Travolta and Uma Thurman also star in Savages).
Savages’ cast also includes Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, Joel David Moore, Emile Hirsch and A Separation star Demian Bichir, who is nominated for the Oscar for best actor.
Universal is hoping that Stone’s pic serves as counterprogramming to superhero tentpole The Amazing Spider-Man, which opens three days earlier on July 3.
PHOTOS: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone Appear in New Production Photos
Moving up the release date also allows Universal to piggyback on the exposure Kitsch will receive for his starring role in two high-profile films, Disney’s John Carter, which opens March 9, and Universal’s own Battleship, which bows in theaters May 18.
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