Anya Taylor-Joy reuniting with The Queen’s Gambit creator for Nabokov adaptation

Scott Frank is working on a film adaptation of 1932 novel ‘Laughter in the Dark’

Isobel Lewis
Tuesday 08 December 2020 09:42 GMT
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Anya Taylor-Joy will be reuniting with The Queen’s Gambit co-creator Scott Frank on a new project.

Following the success of Netflix’s chess-based mini-series, Frank is currently developing a new film adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s 1932 novel Laughter in the Dark for Taylor-Joy to star in.

Speaking about the project, Frank told The Ringer’s The Watch podcast that he had been “dying” to adapt the book for years.

“It’s a great book and it’s going to be a valentine to movies, I’m going to do it as a film noir,” he explained. “The book is more about art and paintings, but I’m going to make it more of a movie within a movie. It’s a really nasty, wonderful, little thriller.”

Laughter in the Dark tells the story of Albert Albinus, a middle-aged, married art critic who has an affair with Margot Peters, a 17-year-old aspiring actress and model who works at the local cinema.

Anya Taylor-Joy in ‘The Queen’s Gambit'
Anya Taylor-Joy in ‘The Queen’s Gambit' (Phil Bray/Netflix)

The book looks at the pair’s mutually parasitic relationship, which is complicated by the return of Axel Rex, Margot’s former partner.

In 1955, Nabokov would go on to explore similar themes in his most famous and most controversial novel, Lolita.

Taylor-Joy and Scott’s work on The Queen’s Gambit has proven to be an unexpected success for Netflix, with the show being named the streaming service’s most-watched scripted miniseries ever after just four weeks.

The seven-episode series follows Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor Joy), a young girl who learns to play chess at her orphanage and goes on to compete internationally in such a male-dominated industry during the 1960s.

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