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It's a true testament to Demian Bichir's acting that when I received an email saying he was in talks to star in Oliver Stone's upcoming Savages, I hadn't the slightest idea what type of role he would play. Bichir was simply wonderful on Weeds as the powerful, corrupt and womanizing mayor, and he looks as good as a lowly immigrant gardener in the trailer for the soon to be released A Better Life. Hired thug? Cartel boss? Random friend? He could easily pull off any of those roles, but it seems Oliver Stone has something else in mind.
According to Variety, the plan is to have Bichir play a powerful but selfish cartel lawyer willing to play both sides of the fence. Discussions are ongoing for the role of Alex, and the contract should be signed by early next week.
Savages follows a lucrative Laguna Beach pot dealing operation that goes south after its co-founders, played by Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch, get in over their heads and steal money from a Mexican drug ring. Its head (Salma Hayek) sends her lead enforcer (Benicio del Toro) to collect their shared girlfriend (Blake Lively) as ransom, and the chess game of double crossings and one ups begins in full.
Principal photography will begin early next month in order to prep for a 2012 release date. Recently, Emile Hirsch, John Travolta and Uma Thurman all signed on, giving Savages arguably the most star-studded cast of any 2012 release.