The film adaptation of The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, needed a thief, so of course the powers that be came to Ansel Elgort. Following an extensive search by director John Crowley (Brooklyn), Variety reported Tuesday that America’s favorite babyface has been offered the role of Theodore Decker, the protagonist who survives a terrorist attack that kills his mother before stumbling into a countries-spanning career of art thievery and forgery.
Though Elgort hasn’t officially signed on—he did retweet Variety’s report, however—the casting could be a huge boost for him, yet another high-profile job. After Tartt nabbed the Pulitzer for Fiction Writing in 2014, Vanity Fair compared the book’s cultural impact to that of Breaking Bad. Warner Bros. snatched up the film rights that same year, and this past August, Amazon Studios made an aggressive deal to partner with Warner Bros. and lock down streaming rights to the movie. Adding to the project’s pedigree is Crowley, who’s already directed a Best Picture nominee, as well as some of the other names rumored to be circling the movie: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, and Ralph Fiennes.
After Elgort’s status skyrocketed following his star turn in Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, one of the summer’s biggest hits, it’s only natural that he’d move on to landing more prestige roles. For him, The Goldfinch will either prove he’s the real deal, or it’ll be ammo for his detractors, and serve as evidence that his performance in Baby Driver was masked by quirky tics and a great soundtrack. I’m just looking forward to seeing what Elgort looks like without iPod headphones on.