Blake Lively replaced Jennifer Lawrence in Savages

Actress Blake Lively was cast in the lead role of Oliver Stone's gritty new movie Savages after Jennifer Lawrence backed out to shoot The Hunger Games.

The Gossip Girl star plays privileged hippie-turned-kidnapping victim Ophelia in Stone's upcoming crime thriller - but the filmmaker confesses Lively wasn't his first choice; Stone originally tapped Lawrence for the part.

He tells Bullet magazine, "Blake wasn't quite perfect for the role, but she was certainly in that ballpark."

And even after handing her the part after Lawrence moved on, Stone knew the 24 year old would have to step out of her comfort zone, adding, "A lot of it - the sex, violence, and drugs - was probably scary and challenging for Blake, who seems like she comes from a nice family.

"It ain't a DisneyWorld ride and it certainly ain't the (posh) Upper East Side (neighbourhood of New York City, where Gossip Girl films)."