Ansel Elgort to Portray John F. Kennedy in World War II Drama ‘Mayday 109’

Ansel Elgort
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“Baby Driver” star Ansel Elgort has signed on to play John F. Kennedy in the drama “Mayday 109,” based on the 1943 sinking of Kennedy’s PT boat during World War II.

The project has been in development since 2015, when Beau Flynn and Basil Iwanyk acquired a script by Samuel Franco and Evan Kilgore. Kent Kubena and Taylor Zea will oversee for Thunder Road and Scott Sheldon will oversee for Flynn Picture Co. No director is yet attached.

Kennedy was the commander of patrol torpedo boat PT 109 in the South Pacific when it was rammed by a Japanese destroyer Amagin, killing two crewmen. With the crew presumed dead by allies, Kennedy led the 11 survivors in swimming to a deserted island, where the crew had to hide from passing Japanese barges.

Kennedy swam over two miles to two other islands in search of help and food, then led his men to Olasana Island, which had coconut trees and drinkable water, before they were rescued. He and his shipmates engaged friendly locals and after scrawling an SOS on a coconut, they were finally located by rescuers.

Warner Bros. released “P.T. 109” in 1963 with Cliff Robertson starring as Kennedy. It was the first commercial theatrical film about a president released while he was still in office.

Flynn’s producing credits include “San Andreas,” “Hercules” and “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunter.” Iwanyk produced “The Town,” “Sicario” and “John Wick.”

Elgort broke out in “The Fault in Our Stars” and is the lead actor in Sony’s “Baby Driver,” which opens Wednesday.

Elgort is represented by CAA and Brookside Artist Management. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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