Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps director Oliver Stone is helming the project, based on Don Winslow's bestselling novel, reports Deadline.
The book centres on the relationship between Chon and Ben, a pair of California marijuana farmers, and their female companion O. Trouble comes when a Mexican cartel kidnaps O, and Chon and Ben must pay a ransom to get her back.
Lively will play O, with Thurman in discussions to play her mother Paqu.
Travolta, who recently appeared on Dancing with the Stars, is eying the role of a burned-out CIA agent named Dennis.
The actors could join the already-cast Taylor Kitsh, Aaron Johnson, Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro in the film.
The Universal Pictures production is scheduled to begin filming this July.