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Savage Salvation - What We Know So Far

The drug crisis is making headlines across the country. It's also appearing in various projects showing the effects of use on not only addicts but those who love them. "Savage Salvation" represents yet another attempt at highlighting those viewpoints. When one addict loses her battle with the deadly substance, it sends her partner on a dangerous quest for justice.

"Savage" has seen its fair share of casting changes — with most relating to the leading role. Initial reports listed Colson "Machine Gun Kelly" Baker as the star; at the time, he joined Robert DeNiro and John Malkovich in the film. This period also saw Baker's casting heralded by director Randall Emmett as he completed casting the trio. "Colson was always my first choice to play the lead in the movie and John has been an icon of mine since childhood," Emmett told Deadline. "Having them both attached with Bob is a dream come true."

The role wouldn't stop with Baker, though, who would pull out due to scheduling issues. It then went to "Friday Night Lights" actor Taylor Kitsch before settling with Jack Huston. There's no word on why Kitsch withdrew from the project (via Deadline).

The project was first announced in late 2020 with no potential start date attached. Concerns about filming during the early part of the pandemic made it challenging to deliver a completed project in 2021. Instead, it was filmed in Georgia and Puerto Rico for a theatrical release in December 2022.

When will Savage Salvation be released?

"Savage Salvation" is set to premiere in theaters on December 2, 2022. Unsurprisingly, it will face a myriad of titles looking for their own holiday season success during that period; other films to premiere the same day include the David Harbour starrer "Violent Night" and Will Smith's "Emancipation." Fans of "Squid Game" leading man Lee Jung-jae can also see the actor take on multiple duties with the limited release "Hunt." The latter's limited release coincides with a VOD premiere; it's a strategy that "Savage Salvation" is employing for the film's debut (via MovieInsider).

A theatrical release is just one way to see "Savage" when it opens; the film comes to VOD on the same day, December 2, 2022. There it will face equally steep competition from Netflix. The popular streaming service debuts both "Scrooge: A Christmas Carol" and "Lady Chatterley's Lover" in hopes of drawing in eager at-home viewers (via What's on Netflix). The date for any of the scheduled releases can change for various reasons, so any of these titles can be pulled without notice. One thing that's sure to draw in those audiences is the acting legends starring in "Savage Salvation."

What is the plot of Savage Salvation?

The plot of "Savage Salvation" shines a light on the country's deadly drug epidemic and those affected by it. In the film, two addicts search for their dream of a normal life; with drugs surrounding them, a family life is far from a reality for Shelby John and Ruby Red. Their hopes for a promising future fall apart when Shelby finds Ruby dead. Rage towards the dealers and those who helped them spur Shelby on to destroy each one. What follows is a vengeful killing spree threatening to engulf the entire town. It's up to a dedicated sheriff and detective to catch up with Shelby before he shatters the lives of innocent people.

"Savage" is certainly not the first film to undertake a growing drug crisis throughout the US. 2021 saw Hulu's "Dopesick" take a very different approach to the subject. The miniseries, based on the book "Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America," was praised for its unflinching glimpse into the lives of those involved with opioids.

Who is starring in Savage Salvation?

One of the biggest selling points for the film is its stars — Robert DeNiro and John Malkovich. DeNiro plays Sheriff Church in "Savage;" in the movie, his character tries to stop a grieving man intent on revenge. This marks a busy time for DeNiro, having several projects in production at the end of 2022. Notable among his upcoming work is a role in Martin Scorsese's drama "Killers of the Flower Moon" (via GQ).

Malkovich stars as a supportive family member who sees someone close to him die. An untimely death due to addiction propels the story into a frantic quest for justice against those who provide drugs to those in the community. Much like his co-star, the actor has several projects lined up. He was just seen on the Netflix series "Space Force" and stars in the anticipated film "Thelma" (via ComingSoon).

The talented acting pair are joined by "House of Gucci" actor Jack Huston. He rose to prominence thanks to roles in "Boardwalk Empire" and "Eastwick." This time, he's starring as Shelby John — a man searching for a normal life only to find it taken away thanks to a tragic twist. "Savage Salvation" also stars musician Quavo. Previously seen during several series appearances, this marks a feature debut for the Migos rapper.

Is there a trailer for Savage Salvation?

Some projects opt for a teaser; "Savage Salvation" decided against this strategy. Instead, viewers had to wait for a full trailer to get their first look at the film. A trailer for "Savage Salvation" debuted in early November 2022; the release comes roughly a month before the film's premiere.

The trailer itself doesn't hold back about its cast or the story itself. Of course, there are a lot of shots showing off DeNiro and Malkovich. Huston also gets the chance to show off what he brings to the project.

Those details are outweighed by what seems to be a spoiler-filled introduction to the film. Much of the narrative is revealed — including a death central to the plot. What follows goes into much of the film's action. Shots reveal that Huston's Shelby John gets to his intended target and hints at a violent confrontation between them. The trailer also features what seems to be foreshadowing as a central character could have sinister motives.