After The Curse, Checkmate: Emma Stone and Nathan Fielder take inspiration from the anal plug chess cheat

After The Curse, Checkmate: Emma Stone and Nathan Fielder take inspiration from the anal plug chess cheat

Ben Mezrich, the author of The Social Network and Dumb Money, is writing a new book about a crazy true story.

This is typically the kind of anecdote that makes every reader exclaim: “It would make a good film”, upon discovering it. In September 2022, two chess champions, the confirmed Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen and the gifted young Hans Niemann, must face off in a match where the stakes are high. But their meeting turns into a scandal when the latter is accused of cheating: with an accomplice, he would have obtained valuable information on the game in progress thanks to… an anal plug.

This crazy true story inspires Ben Mezrich, the author of two books that led to acclaimed adaptations: The Social Network East Dumb Money. He wrote a twelve-page treatment to present his new story to all of Hollywood, and according to The Hollywood Reporterit was A24 who won the auction, offering the flagship duo of the successful series The Curse, Emma Stone And Nathan Fielderto take charge of carrying Checkmate on the screen.

In his presentation, Mezrich talks about “biggest scandal in the history of chess”while specifying that it will not be “not just about rivalry and sensationalized headlines, but about detailing the behind-the-scenes of a billion-dollar chess industry while analyzing the collision between tradition and innovation” which is at the heart of this matter.

The chess players Hans Niemann and Magnus Carlsen.

An intriguing way of presenting things which visibly pushed the independent American studio to work extra hard to obtain the rights. THR tells that several big studios and streaming services were interested in this 12-page treatment of Checkmate, before the book was even fully written. Amazon, for example, offered an adaptation written by Alex Convery (Air) and directed by Ron Howard (Apollo 13, Rush). David Heyman, the flagship producer of Harry Potter, would have liked to develop it for Warner Bros. As for Netflix and Apple, they had the same idea: hiring Taron Egerton, the brilliant actor from Rocketmanfor him to play one of the two chess champions.

It was ultimately A24 who won the auction with their idea to hire Emma Stone and Nathan Fielder to oversee the adaptation of Checkmate. Nothing says yet that they will star in the film, and if so, it certainly won't be in one of the leading roles, but they will be executive producers (she also along with her husband Dave McCary through their company Fruit Tree), and he would also be behind the camera.

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