“The Queen’s Gambit,” the story of a chess prodigy that was a streaming hit for Netflix, may turn into a musical. Level Forward, has acquired the stage rights to Walter Tevis’s novel “The Queen’s Gambit”, which served as the basis for the miniseries. Tevis also wrote “The Hustler” and “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” which were made into movies and, in the case of “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” into a theatrical show.
“The Queen’s Gambit” centers on Beth Harmon, an orphan who discovers that she has a supernatural ability to move pieces around a chessboard and dominate the competition. The novel, published in 1983, follows her journey from Kentucky to Paris and Moscow, as she battles addiction and the prejudices of a male-centered world. Now that journey will involve music, dancing, and singing, plus pawns and rooks.
The Netflix miniseries recently won the Golden Globes for Best Television Limited Series, Anthology Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, and for the lead performance of Anya Taylor-Joy. “The Queen’s Gambit” became Netflix’s most-watched scripted miniseries with over 62 million viewers in the first month.
“It is a privilege for Level Forward to lead the task of bringing ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ to the stage through the beloved and enduring craft of musical theater,” said Level Forward Executive Director Adrienne Becker and producer Julia Dunetz. Told through a bold and fresh point of view, audiences already share the friendship and strength of the inspiring women of history who energize and sustain Beth Harmon’s journey and ultimate triumph. The story is a siren song in the midst of our contemporary struggles for racial and gender equity, and we are eager to move the project forward. “
The deal was negotiated on behalf of the Tevis Family Trust by Susan Schulman of the Susan Schulman Literary Agency, New York and Rachel Gould on behalf of Level Forward.
Level Forward was founded in 2018 and has produced and financed feature films such as “The Assistant” and the documentary “On The Record.” His theatrical credits include “Oklahoma!”, “What the Constitution Means to Me” and “Slave Game.” Abigail Disney, Walt Disney’s granddaughter, is one of the founders of the company.
Level Forward did not announce any key creative talents associated with the planned “The Queen’s Gambit” musical.