What’s in store for the award-winning Netflix series ‘The Queen’s Gambit’? A musical. The hit series may become a musical as production company Level Forward has acquired theatrical stage rights to Walter Tevis’ book ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, which served as the basis for the miniseries.
As per Variety, Tevis also wrote ‘The Hustler’ and ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’, both of which became films and, in the case of ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’, a stage show.
Level Forward, which produced popular shows like ‘Jagged Little Pill’ and the revival of ‘Oklahoma!’, has not announced a creative team or casting details for the upcoming project yet.
The company’s recent Broadway productions include ‘Slave Play’ and ‘Jagged Little Pill’, which currently are nominated for 12 and 15 Tony Awards, respectively.
“It is a privilege for Level Forward to lead the charge of bringing The Queen’s Gambit to the stage through the beloved and enduring craft of musical theater,” Level Forward CEO Adrienne Becker and producer Julia Dunetz said in a statement.
They added, “Told through a brave and fresh point of view, audiences are already sharing in the friendship and fortitude of the story’s inspiring women who energize and sustain Beth Harmon’s journey and ultimate triumph.”
“The story is a siren call amidst our contemporary struggles for gender and racial equity, and we’re looking forward to moving the project forward,” they further said.
The deal was brokered on Tevis Family Trust by Susan Schulman of the Susan Schulman Literary Agency, New York, and Rachel Gould on behalf of Level Forward.
The seven-episode Netflix limited series is based on Tevis’ 1983 novel of the same name, which combines the author’s real-life experiences playing chess with fictional characters.
The show, set in the 1950s and 60s, stars actor Anya Taylor-Joy as the fictional Beth Harmon, an orphan and chess prodigy who is determined to break into the male-dominated world of competitive chess. As a child, Beth was force-fed pills at her orphanage, leaving her with a drug addiction that complicates her ascent to world-class chess champion.
The series became Netflix’s most-viewed scripted limited series, garnering over 62 million viewers in its first month on the streamer. The Netflix adaptation has won two Golden Globe Awards and two Critics Choice Awards.
The novel, published in 1983, follows the journey of the fictional female chess prodigy, Beth Harmon, from Kentucky to Paris to Moscow, while she battles addiction and the prejudices of a male-centered world. At one point in the 1990s, the novel almost became a feature film, reported People magazine.
“Many directors have tried to make it. Heath Ledger was set to direct this as a film a few years before he died. This was going to be his directing debut,” series writer and director Scott Frank told Forbes, adding, “It fell through because it just wasn’t the type of movie being made at the time.”
‘The Queen’s Gambit’ had released on Netflix on 23 October 2020.