Universal clearly is excited about director Oliver Stone's adaptation of Savages, as the studio has moved the release date from September 28th to July 6th, the middle of the summer movie season. Deadline reports that the studio made the move after seeing an early version late last week, and apparently think it's strong enough to contend with The Amazing Spider-Man, which opens July 3rd.
Based on the novel by Don Winslow, Savages follows two marijuana growers named Ben (Aaron Johnson, Kick-Ass) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) whose girlfriend (Blake Lively, Green Lantern) is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel, and the pair decide to pay the ransom by stealing the cartel's shipments. Winslow co-wrote the script with Stone and Shane Salerno (Shaft) and also wrote a Savages prequel novel that could have its release date moved up to coincide with the movie's opening.
Savages has an impressive cast; Benicio del Toro plays an enforcer named Lado who works for the cartel matriarch, Salma Hayek, with John Travolta playing a DEA agent and Uma Thurman has the role of Lively's mother. Emile Hirsch (The Darkest Hour), Joel David Moore (Avatar) and recent Academy Award nominee Demian Bichir (A Better Life) co-star. Whether the movie's star power is enough to defeat Sony's Amazing Spider-Man remains to be seen.