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This summer is set to be another stocked with superheroes. Joss Whedon will kick things off this May with Marvel's super group ensemble-adventure The Avengers, then Marc Webb's Spider-Man reboot The Amazing Spider-Man will hit theaters in time for Independence Day, with Christopher Nolan's hotly anticipated final act to his Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises dropping shortly thereafter. Once more the media will be saturated with talk of superpowers, massive action set pieces, and wild opening weekend speculation. What film would possibly want to do box office battles against these sure-to-dominate, cross-demographic-appealing wonders? Well for one, a gritty crime drama from the Oscar-winning director of Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July.

That's right. The Playlist has discovered that Universal has shifted the release date of Oliver Stone's next effort, Savages, from September 28th to July 6th. It's a bold move. Now instead of facing off against Rian Johnson's genre-blending hitman flick Looper, Savages will be the only film daring to take on The Amazing Spider-Man for the July 4th weekend, a slot traditionally awarded to the summer's biggest or most family-friendly adventure movies. Still, this could be a savvy move on Universal's part, providing more mature moviegoers with a theatrical option that's less likely to be punctuated by the impatient squeals of small-children and rambunctious families. (Of course in New York nothing would surprise me. I've seen a woman bring a troop of Girl Scouts to the R-Rated and very graphic My Bloody Valentine 3D.)

The move also shows that the studio has a lot of faith in Stone's drama, which stars Blake Lively as a young woman kidnapped by some merciless members of a Mexican drug cartel after her drug-dealing boyfriends (Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch) intrude on their territory. This could prove a turning point for Lively, who infamously co-starred in last year's critically loathed box office flop Green Lantern and was recently bumped from Steven Soderbergh's next effort Side Effects. In Savages the Gossip Girl star has the opportunity to prove her performance prowess, sharing screentime with Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro, and 2012 Oscar nominee Demián Bichir. How will she stack up? We'll find out this July.

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