Lights, camera and... don't forget about the chess board! The beloved Netflix show Queen's Gambit is getting turned into a stage musical, as production company Level Forward acquired the theatrical stage rights to Walter Tevis' novel, which served as the basis for the popular miniseries.
"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. "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."
They added: "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."
The highly praised show — which won a Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film — centers around chess prodigy Beth Harmon (played by Anya Taylor-Joy), an orphan who discovers she has a preternatural ability to play chess at a young age and rises through the chess world in the 1960s.
The novel and Netflix series follows Harmon's journey from Kentucky to Paris and Moscow, as she battles the prejudices of the male-dominated chess world and addiction (both when it comes to the game and the bottle) during her quest to become world champion.
“Beth is the character I’ve given the most of myself to,” Taylor-Joy, 24, told The Guardian of her heroin character.
"I didn’t realize until I met her that she was a voice I'd had in my head for as long as I remember. I'm goofier and lighter-hearted than Beth," she explained before noting: "we have a lot of the same struggles and at our core, we’re pretty similar. I was heartbroken when I had to stop playing her. I’m just glad I got to spend seven hours with her. If it had been a two-hour movie, I would’ve had to be dragged out kicking and screaming."
After the show debuted this past October, it instantly became the most-watched scripted mini series, with over 62 million viewers in the first month, according to the streamer. Taylor-Joy also went on to win Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards for her stellar performance in the historic drama.
The deal was brokered on behalf of Level Forward by Rachel Gould and Susan Schulman of the Susan Schulman Literary Agency for the Tevis Family Trust. The production company previously produced the two-time Tony-winning 2019 revival of Oklahoma! and What the Constitution Means to Me, which was nominated for Best Play.