Could ‘Baby Driver’ Be Ansel Elgort’s Big Break?

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

The young actor Ansel Elgort has up until this point been mostly known as Shailene Woodley’s male co-star with the strange name, but Elgort has just signed on to the movie that will likely provide his breakout role as a star in his own right. Soon there will be no more jokes about riding on Woodley’s coattails for Elgort. Variety reports that insider sources have confirmed rumors that Elgort will star in Edgar Wright’s upcoming crime drama Baby Driver.

The movie will star Elgort as a young and talented getaway driver for a band of criminals. He uses a specific playlist of songs to help psyche himself up to drive in the most challenging of circumstances. The character ends up being forced into working for a crime boss and has to complete a doomed heist that threatens every aspect of his life. Wright is writing and directing the film, which is his first project since the Marvel Ant-Man fiasco that saw the director drop out after putting much work into the film.

Elgort has been rumored to be up for the part for awhile, but he had to work out his schedule for the next Divergent sequel, Allegiant, before signing on. Being star Shailene Woodley’s male co-star in the young adult dystopia Divergent franchise as well as last year’s critically acclaimed John Green adaptation The Fault in Our Stars has made Elgort’s name thus far in his young career. That work has focused on playing to Woodley’s lead as well as to young adult audiences. Baby Driver will see him taking the starring role in some much edgier material that will appeal to adults. This could make Elgort be taken more seriously and help the 21-year-old transition into more adult roles.

Rumors that Elgort would star in the movie began popping up at the beginning of the year. In January, The Tracking Board reported that Elgort and Emma Stone were circling the lead roles. There’s no word for now if Stone is still interested in playing Elgort’s love interest, but if the recently Academy Award-nominated actress is still on board with the movie then this project is even more likely to be a huge boost to Elgort’s career. Particularly after all the awards buzz for Birdman, including specifically pertaining to her performance, Stone is one of the best young actresses in Hollywood. That same article said that Michael Douglas was circling another one of the starring roles.

Fans of Edgar Wright are very excited for this next project as it was a huge disappointment for them when he dropped out of the Ant-Man project last year after having creative struggles with Marvel. Wright is best known for his stylized, comic book-influenced movies like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Wright bringing his own fan base with him is why this film could succeed without a big name star in the lead role, giving Elgort a chance to shine in his first starring position. If he handles it well, Baby Driver could easily turn out to be Elgort’s big break.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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