There’s a fine line between insanity and genius. At least, that’s what the first official trailer for Netflix’s upcoming limited series The Queen’s Gambit argues. With an excess of booze, pills, and chess, all seven episodes will be available to stream starting October 23 via Indiewire.
The Queen’s Gambit tells the story of Beth, a child prodigy who’s an incredibly gifted but troubled chess player. Set in 1950s America, the chess world is dominated by men and she’s a lone woman amongst the privileged. The patriarchy is stifling, but it’s the least of her concerns as the expectation for greatness ends up being her biggest weakness. An orphan since she was a kid, Beth has a turbulent past that she cannot seem to outrun.
Throughout the trailer released on Thursday, Beth is seen stumbling over garbage cans in her front lawn, slugging back cocktails and pills, while also knocking over almost everything in sight. From a young age, she was heavily medicated with tranquilizers, and it only worsens as she becomes an adult. When facing competition on the chess front, she also faces competition with herself as she proves to be her own worst enemy. Throughout the various scenes that are teased, Beth seems to be on a path to self destruction, her own addictions her undoing.
Beth is portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy (Split), marking her first appearance as a leading lady on a television show. Noted for her performances in horror films such as The Witch and Thoroughbreds, it’s a different kind of horror in the upcoming limited series. The stakes are set high within the prestigious world of chess playing, with a darkness and anxiety engulfing the trailer as it also resides in Beth.
The series will also star Harry Melling (Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone), Bill Camp (The Outsider), and Moses Ingram (Candace). It is written and directed by Scott Frank (Godless). Frank also serves as co-executive producer alongside William Horberg (Cold Mountain). The Queen’s Gambit is an adaptation of the 1983 best-selling novel by Walter Tevis.
Watch the trailer for The Queen’s Gambit below: