Following the surprising success of a television drama about chess, a stage musical of “The Queen’s Gambit” is now in development.
Few details are yet available, but Playbill.com reported on Monday that Level Forward, the production company behind Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” musical, had purchased the rights to Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel, from which the Netflix series was adapted.
“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 in a joint statement.
It is part Broadway’s ongoing effort to appeal to a wider — and more contemporary — audience, prompting the recent success of nostalgia-grabbing “Spongebob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical,” or the groundbreaking “Hamilton,” which combined hip-hop and history on stage.
About 62 million people watched “The Queen’s Gambit” in its first 28 days on Netflix, according to Nielsen.
This also won’t be the first time that the game of chess will take center stage: the 1998 show “Chess,” based on a 1984 concept album by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, failed to make waves upon debut, but has since risen to cult fame, according to Playbill.
“The Queen’s Gambit,” starring recent Golden Globe– and Critics Choice Award-winner Anya Taylor-Joy, garnered more than 62 million viewers in the first month since its October 2020 premiere on Netflix. The show itself also took one of each prize.