Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel The Queen’s Gambit, centered around a woman who becomes one of the world’s greatest chess players, is being turned into a musical. Level Forward has announced it won the rights to adapt the novel for the stage.
The work is a hot title right now, having been recently adapted into a Netflix miniseries starring Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon. The show became the streamer’s most-watched scripted miniseries, with over 62 million viewers in the first month. Both the show and Taylor-Joy earned Golden Globes last month.
“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,” said Level Forward CEO Adrienne Becker and producer Julia Dunetz.
Details about a creative team will be announced in the future. The deal was brokered 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.
This wouldn’t be the first musical centering around the chess board against the backdrop of Cold War tensions; Chess, featuring a score by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, began as a concept album in 1984 and made its way to Broadway four years later. While not a critical or commercial success, the show and its score have become a cult favorite.