June 01, 2016  

Ansel Elgort to Play Cold War Pianist in 'Van Cliburn'

June 24, 2014 (2:42 am) GMT
He is set to portray the American pianist who won the first prize in a USSR-organized competition in Moscow.

has locked his next starring role after claiming his fame as the lead actor in the romantic drama "". The 20-year-old actor is set to play the titular role of "", an American pianist who won International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War.

Per Deadline, the film is based on the Howard Reich book "Van Cliburn" that sees the pianist in his formative years. At 23, Cliburn won the first piano competition organized by USSR who wanted to show its superiority at a time when tensions between them and America were sky high. Cliburn impressed the judges with his skill and made it to the final where he received a long standing ovation from the audience.

The judges had to ask permission from the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to deliberate the result and give the first prize to an American. "Is he the best?" Khrushchev asked. "Then give him the prize!" The Texas native was credited for bridging the Cold War.

The film will reunite Elgort with Temple Hill partners Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen who worked with him in "Fault in Our Stars". Andrew Stern is assigned to write the script.

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