‘The Queen’s Gambit’: A Netflix musical? See Broadway’s plans
You didn’t think The Queen’s Gambit was going away already, did you? Netflix’s instant darling turned everyone into a chess expert after it premiered back in October, and it appears the people who pull the strings are squeezing every last drop from the show’s popularity – now, there’s a The Queen’s Gambit musical in the works.
Netflix and its massive reach brought The Queen’s Gambit to audiences around the world back in October, but the show’s origin lies in print. In fact, The Queen’s Gambit and the fictional epic of Beth Harmon have been around long before Netflix, since back in the early 80s.
American novelist Walter Tevis put out The Queen’s Gambit as a novel back in 1983, but the story of Beth Harmon only captivated audiences on a major scale over the past year with the massive popularity of the Anya Taylor-Joy-starring Netflix miniseries.
The Queen’s Gambit follows Beth Harmon, an orphan who climbs her way to the top of the seemingly cutthroat chess world of the 50s & 60s as the world’s greatest (and first female) chess champion.
As a kid, Harmon gets hooked on booze and one of the oft-featured ambiguous & easily-obtained downer pills of post-World War II United States, and she fights the monkey on her back along with a whirlwind of other conflicts standing in her way on the road to chess stardom.
The chess world might not seem like the likeliest background for Netflix’s biggest hit of 2020, but we can only surmise the world before screens captivated audiences with a morbid fascination, just like Mad Men swept audiences up before it.
In a content landscape where the brutality of shows featuring perpetual rape & murder like Game of Thrones reign supreme, The Queen’s Gambit becomes all the more impressive as a captivating series that is mostly wholesome, and maintains engagement with minimal edge (it’s the best new show to watch with mom).
Taylor-Joy earned a Golden Globe for best actress in a limited series in February, and the show took one more home for best limited series as fans anxiously await its performance on the bigtime TV award show, the Emmys coming in September.
Memes, headlines, and general buzz confirmed for skeptics The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix was one of the top series of 2020, but fans wondered if the show would end up a one-and-done situation.
However, it’s 2021 – no film or series will be left on top and each success must be rebooted, remade, sequeled, and re-imagined until every last modicum of quality content is extracted. The Queen’s Gambit is no different, and Netflix’s prime series from 2020 is set to hit Broadway (if it ever opens again).
Bishops on Broadway
Entertainment Weekly reported today entertainment company Level Forward announced it snatched up the theatrical stage rights for Tevis’s now-coveted chess novel, and the company is going to put Beth Harmon’s story on stage. The people behind Level Forward have stated their excitement in making the upcoming musical.
Level Forward CEO Adrienne Becker and producer Julia Dunetz expressed their gratitude in being able to further tell the story of The Queen’s Gambit, emphasizing the story’s featuring inspiring women in today’s time in which the struggle for equality has been more & more spotlighted.
It’s hard to say when The Queen’s Gambit musical will hit the stage, between the unpredictable demands which a stage play requires and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic leaving Broadway musicals perpetually on hold. However, fans will no doubt rejoice when the story of Beth Harmon gets a makeover, and the magic of The Queen’s Gambit takes on a whole new life on stage.