Blake Lively took a hit earlier this week as it was announced she’d lost out on the lead in Steven Soderbergh’s new project, now re-titled Bitter Pill, to Rooney Mara.

Now some positive news to balance.

Oliver Stone’s Savages was originally scheduled for a September release. According to Deadline, the studio, Universal, screened the film last week and apparently has so much confidence in the movie that it’s now been moved up to open on July 6th. Savages stars Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson - GREAT casting - as two pot growers with the same girlfriend, Lively, who run afoul of the Mexican drug cartel. Blake gets caught up in the drama.

They’re saying that Savages has a Pulp Fiction feel to it, a decidedly UN-family friendly option for moviegoers who may be tired of the superhero summer blockbuster...

Like The Amazing Spider-Man?

That opens on July 3.

Obviously my title is misleading. Blake is not carrying the film. But she is in a film that seems to be carrying some early buzz. With a cast that also includes Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, John Travolta, and Uma Thurman, and based on an acclaimed book by Don Winslow, who also co-wrote the screenplay, the date change is strong indication that Universal hopes Savages will perform well, and perhaps be considered an early contender if it can generate a healthy box office, not unlike Inglourious Basterds, but with the boost of an extra month, as Basterds was an August release.

The first image from Savages was made available online earlier this week featuring Blake seemingly being tortured by Benicio Del Toro. A couple of months ago, Huffington Post interviewed Oliver Stone on a variety of subjects and he was only too happy to discuss his current leading lady. Get ready to raise your eyebrows:

The name 'Lively' brings a giant smile to the director's face and is apparently one of the best young actresses with whom Stone has ever worked (and he's worked with Meg Ryan, Cameron Diaz and Angelina Jolie, to name a few). He even went so far as to compare Lively to a young Carole Lombard.

"She is a lot more than what people have seen. She has a natural beauty and smile that the camera loves. She has a freshness and I think frankly she is going to be a movie star," Stone said. "She's smart as a whip. She knows character. She really knows how to absorb material and she knows how to inhabit a character from working on that television show."

Stringing along Dan Humphrey for five seasons does take a lot of depth. But out of the "Savages" cast that includes Salma Hayek, Uma Thurman, John Travolta and Benicio Del Toro, Stone said Lively contributed the most.

"Of the five major actors in the movie, she is one of two who contributed the most to the screenplay. She's not overbearing but she certainly gives back. I enjoy her," Stone said.

Did you As IF the part where she “contributed to the screenplay”?

I saw The Town and thought it was a really good movie. Some people saw The Town and thought Blake Lively was really good in the movie. I didn’t notice that part. But if Savages is successful, and I do want it to be so badly for Taylor Kitsch, she’ll be riding on that as a win in her column. And better that as an Eat A Dick message to Megan Ellison than all the boyfriend swapping she engages in in her spare time.

Here’s Blake in New York with her parents yesterday and wearing a f-cking SICK leather coat on the set of Gossip Girl this morning. Sasha! SASHA!!!