Genius comes at a cost for Anya Taylor-Joy‘s chess champion in The Queen’s Gambit, and that cost comes with lots of pills and booze. Taylor-Joy stars as a chess master who breaks into the male-dominated world of competitive chess, but learns that there’s a thin line between genius and madness. Watch The Queen’s Gambit trailer below.
The Queen’s Gambit Trailer
Only a few people could make chess seem so sexy. First is star Anya Taylor-Joy, who has been on a hot streak since breaking out in 2015’s The Witch with roles as (often slightly unhinged) ingenues in films like Thoroughbreds and Emma. Second is Scott Frank, a writer and filmmaker whose credits include Out of Sight, Minority Report, and Logan, and serves as co-creator, executive producer, writer, director, and showrunner on the limited series The Queen’s Gambit, based on the novel by Walter Tevis.
Taylor-Joy stars in the Netflix limited series as Beth Harmon, an orphan who quickly rises in the world of competitive chess, buoyed by her genius and glamorous persona. But her life starts to come crashing down due to a self-destructive addiction to tranquilizers, which were provided by the state as a sedative for children. In addition to Taylor-Joy, the series also stars Marielle Heller, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Moses Ingram, Harry Melling, and Bill Camp.
Several attempts have been made to adapt Tevis’ 1983 novel, a coming-of-age story meets sports thriller, first in 1983 when The New York Times journalist Jesse Kornbluth acquired rights for a screenplay; then again in In 1992, when Scottish screenwriter Allan Shiach acquired rights for a screenplay of a planned arthouse film. Shiach’s long-gestating version even had Heath Ledger and Ellen Page attached at one point, before Ledger’s untimely death.
Here’s the synopsis for The Queen’s Gambit:
Based on the novel by Walter Tevis, the Netflix limited series drama The Queen’s Gambit is a coming-of-age story that explores the true cost of genius. Abandoned and entrusted to a Kentucky orphanage in the late 1950s, a young Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) discovers an astonishing talent for chess while developing an addiction to tranquilizers provided by the state as a sedative for the children. Haunted by her personal demons and fueled by a cocktail of narcotics and obsession, Beth transforms into an impressively skilled and glamorous outcast while determined to conquer the traditional boundaries established in the male-dominated world of competitive chess.
The Queen’s Gambit premieres on October 23, 2020.
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