Ansel Elgort Continues His Criminal Streak with 'The Goldfinch'

From getaway driver to art forger, this young actor is moving up the ranks.

Ansel Elgort

From getaway driver to art forger, this young actor is moving up the ranks.

Ansel Elgort doesn’t seem to be done with a life of crime. Variety reports that the Baby Driver star has been offered the lead role in an adaptation of Donna Tartt’s acclaimed novel, “The Goldfinch.” John Crowley (Brooklyn) is set to direct the project and had apparently been meeting with several hopefuls for a few months before deciding on Elgort.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel details the life of Theo Decker, who inadvertently steals the eponymous Dutch Golden Age painting at age 13 after his life was upended by a terrorist attack that killed his mother. The story then follows Theo into adulthood, past a tumultuous relationship with a deadbeat father and chronicling his struggles with his “job” as an art forger as well as problems in his personal life. This is, presumably, where Elgort fits into the story and already that feels right. Both Theo and Baby share a kind of innocence in characterization and both fell into a life of crime rather unwittingly, doing what they can just to survive. However, there seems to be a stronger sense of underlying guilt about Theo too, which manifests in unhealthy ways as he grows up.

This mixture of familiar ground and fresher territory might very well work in Elgort’s favor. I’ve spoken before about his rise to fame, and he definitely has experience in keeping up a streak: first, it was YA heartthrobs, now it’s young career criminals. But if it ain’t broke… You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wasn’t endeared to Baby as a character because of Elgort’s charisma.

The Goldfinch will be one of only two films Elgort has signed onto since Baby Driver, the other being Mayday 109 (in which he’ll play John F. Kennedy). He has two films slated for release next year — November Criminals and Billionaire Boys Club — but both were filmed well before 2016.

Perhaps Elgort was a little more focused on music in the last couple of years, or he’s as fastidious as Variety’s sources are making him out to be, or of course, there’s the combination of both those things. However, if he’s as good for The Goldfinch as he was for Baby Driver, maybe he should continue to be so picky about projects in the future. With some hefty starring roles in the works, Elgort’s resume is slowly growing with curious respectability.


Often chugging tea and thinking about horror movies. Particularly loves writing stuff and things with a feminist bent here at Film School Rejects.