‘The Queen’s Gambit’ star and writer reunite for new 1930s Berlin drama

The creator of The Queen’s Gambit will team up with its star again in a new series.

Based on Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel, The Queen’s Gambit premiered last October and is now Netflix’s most-watched scripted mini-series.

The show follows the life of an orphaned chess prodigy struggling with drug and alcohol dependency in the 1950s-1960s.

Following the huge global success of The Queen’s Gambit, creator Scott Frank will be reuniting with lead actress Anya Taylor-Joy on a brand new period drama.

Set in Berlin in the 1930s, the mini-series be based on the 1932 novel Laughter in the Dark, written by Lolita author Vladimir Nabokov.

Nabokov’s story deals with a middle-aged art critic’s affection for a 17-year-old girl and their mutually parasitic relationship.

Watch the trailer for The Queen’s Gambit:


An “ironic novel of desire, deceit, and deception, a curious romance set in the film world of Berlin in the 1930s,” Laughter in the Dark was previously adapted as a movie in 1969.

Screenwriter Scott Frank told The Watch podcast: “I’m gonna do it with Anya [Taylor-Joy]. It’s gonna be kind of a valentine to movies, I’m gonna do it as a film noir. And the book is more about art and paintings; I’m gonna make it more of a movie within a movie.

“It’s a really nasty, wonderful little thriller. I hope to do it with all the folks I did Queen’s Gambit [with].”

Frank is also planning a six-part series based on Humphrey Bogart’s detective character Sam Spade from 1941’s The Maltese Falcon, with English actor Clive Owen playing an older version of Spade, now living in the south of France.

He revealed: “It’s 1963, the end of the Algerian War, so all these guys are coming home into the country, and there’s all this sort of socio-political stuff happening. And he’s in this little town, and the daughter of Sam Spade and [The Maltese Falcon femme fatale] Brigid O’Shaughnessy, he has in a convent living nearby….Basically, his past finds him in this little town in the south of France.”

These two new series are expected to premiere in 2022 or 2023.

Laughter in the Dark is available on Amazon.