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Lively front-runner for Stone’s ‘Savages’

'Gossip' star was also considering 'Oz'

Blake Lively has emerged as the front-runner for the female lead in Oliver Stone’s “Savages,” a role she may have to choose over playing Glinda the Good Witch in Disney’s “Oz.”

Stone will write and direct the pic, which follows two Laguna Beach marijuana kingpins forced to work for a Mexican drug cartel after Ophelia, the free-spirited girlfriend they share, is kidnapped.

Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch are in talks to play the two male leads, with Benicio del Toro negotiating for one of the cartel enforcers.

Early in the casting process, Jennifer Lawrence was the choice — but when she won the much-coveted lead as Katniss in “The Hunger Games,” Stone went back to the drawing board.

Teresa Palmer and Olivia Wilde also met with Stone for the role. While Lively is still awaiting an offer, several people with knowledge of the process tell Variety that she is Stone’s top choice.

When Variety asked Lively (who was at CinemaCon promoting “The Green Lantern” earlier this month) about joining the project, she demurred — but didn’t deny interest.

“I’m a huge fan of Oliver Stone,” she said. “I would love to … when you look at directors that you want to work with, he’s always on the top of the list. It would be a dream to be able to work with him.”

Universal will distribute the pic, which looks to hit its June start date — but all is riding on Stone locking up his Ophelia. Salma Hayek and Uma Thurman have also been eyed for roles.

Lively has a lot to think about as she plans her summer hiatus from CW’s “Gossip Girl.”

She had been considering another role: as Glinda the Good Witch of the East in Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful” for Disney. As it stands, shooting schedules for “Savages” and “Oz” would make it difficult for her to do both, though sources close to Lively say several options are still being considered.

Lively at present is filming “Hick” with Chloe Moretz and Alec Baldwin.

She is repped by CAA and Untitled.

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