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The Queen’s Gambit creator Scott Frank to reunite with Anya Taylor-Joy on new period drama

The tantalising Berlin-set period drama will fill the TQG hole in many people's lives.

The Queen's Gambit on Netflix

Fresh from the huge global success of Netflix chess drama The Queen’s Gambit, creator Scott Frank has revealed he’s reuniting with star Anya Taylor-Joy on a new period drama set in Berlin in the 1930s.


Frank revealed on The Ringer’s podcast The Watch that the series would be based on Laughter in the Dark, a novel by Lolita author, Vladimir Nabokov.

According to EW, Frank has been “dying” to dramatise the novel, which was first published in 1932.

“I’m gonna do it with Anya,” said Frank. “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].”

Scott Frank
Scott Frank
Tibrina Hobson/WireImage

With distinct shades of Lolita, Laughter in the Dark is the story of  a middle-aged art critic, Albert Albinus, who falls in love with a 17-year-old girl named Margot, who uses him to realise her ambition of becoming a movie star.

The book is an “ironic novel of desire, deceit, and deception, a curious romance set in the film world of Berlin in the 1930s.”

The news will be welcomed by fans of The Queen’s Gambit, who have made the seven-part drama a record-breaking series on Netflix.

Frank also revealed he was developing a six -part series based on The Maltese Falcon character Sam Spade, played originally by Humphrey Bogart in the 1941 film.

In the new six-part series English actor Clive Owen will play the role as an older version of Spade.

Frank explained the set-up: “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.”


Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, visit our TV Guide, or find out about upcoming new TV shows 2020.