Rising starlet Anya Taylor-Joy has set her sights on portraying another example of what has become a classic stock character at this point: The strung-out chess prodigy with the troubled past and tumultuous home life. She’ll be stepping into those shoes in The Queen’s Gambit, a mini-series for Netflix that debuted its first teaser today, with a release on the world’s largest streamer on Oct. 23, 2020. You can see the teaser below.
The Queen’s Gambit is adapted from Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel of the same name, being itself of course named after the classic chess game opening strategy. The story is set in late-1950s Kentucky, where an 8-year-old child named Beth Harmon discovers her unexpected and natural brilliance at the game of chess. She quickly becomes a prodigy, and the film follows her in her quest to become a chess grandmaster in her early 20s. At the same time, she’s held back by an addiction to tranquilizers/narcotics that she was introduced to as a child. Netflix says the following:
“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.”
Considering the time period by the time that the film will be occupying by the time Taylor-Joy’s character is in her 20s, it feels like we’ll be getting a bit of Mad Men/women’s liberation vibe from The Queen’s Gambit, and indeed the shot of Taylor-Joy walking out of a building wearing sunglasses almost looks like an homage to Mad Men’s Peggy Olson. Of course, these stories of chess prodigy kids rarely end well, and we have a feeling that a Bobby Fisher-like destiny could be in store for Beth. Check out the teaser below, and keep your eyes peeled for when The Queen’s Gambit arrives on Netflix this October.