Checkmate | Emma Stone, Nathan Fielder to produce chess movie for A24

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Following the success of The Curse, Emma Stone and Nathan Fielder are again teaming with A24 to produce Checkmate, a movie based on the chess world’s biggest scandal.

Chess can be absorbing subject material for drama, whether it’s a glossy period piece such as Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit, or more left-field takes like 2013’s Computer Chess. Perhaps chess movies are like Robin Hood projects: there are always several in development in Hollywood and it becomes a strategic game of, well… erm, chess to see who can put one together first.

The latest chess project is being produced by Emma Stone and Nathan Fielder, and A24 have reportedly spent a seven-figure sum to secure the rights to it. Why the buzz? Well, the film will be based on the biggest scandal the chess world has seen in recent years, dramatising the events of the ‘controversial 2022 head-to-head match between Grandmasters Magnus Carlsen, then world champion, and Hans Niemann, during which the latter was accused of cheating.’

There’s more: the film is set to be adapted from a book by author Ben Mezrich, whose previous works were adapted into The Social Network and Dumb Money. Mezrich certainly has a knack for finding compelling stories set amid true events, often displaying our shortcomings as human beings. We can see how this story might be a good fit.

Nathan Fielder is currently attached to direct, with Stone producing for A24. That’s the same creative team that bought us The Curse, the acclaimed TV drama that is being tipped for plenty of awards. W’re keen to eventually see who will play Carlsen and Niemann, the casting hasn’t been announced yet. What has been announced though, according to Variety, is the film’s title: Checkmate.

We’ll bring you more on this one as we hear it, but given that the real-life story saw Elon Musk wading in, accusations regarding sex toy use and Jose Mourinho memes, it could be a fun watch. We’ll let you know casting news when we hear it.

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