The Queen’s Gambit co-creator, Scott Frank, has big plans in the works for Anya Taylor-Joy. He plans to adapt Vladimir Nabokov’s 1932 classic novel Laughter in the Dark, and shared recently on The Ringer’s podcast The Watch, “that he’s been ‘dying’ to adapt the book for the screen and that he hopes to produce the adaptation in Berlin, with the team that made The Queen’s Gambit.” And, the actress most prominently on his list is the lead of everyone’s favorite Netflix Original chess-focused drama, Taylor-Joy.
“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].”
Taylor-Joy is no stranger to the thriller genre. Her roles in Split, Glass, The Witch, Morgan, Marrowbone, and others attest to her expertise in the genre. A noir thriller based on a classic novel sounds like just the niche for her, as well as a wonderful treat for fans of Taylor-Joy and or The Queens Gambit.
Below is Amazon’s description of the classic novel that inspired the adaptation to be:
“Once upon a time there lived in Berlin, Germany, a man called Albinus. He was rich, respectable, happy; one day he abandoned his wife for the sake of a youthful mistress; he loved; was not loved; and his life ended in disaster.” Thus begins Vladimir Nabokov’s Laughter in the Dark; this, the author tells us, is the whole story―except that he starts from here, with his characteristic dazzling skill and irony, and brilliantly turns a fable into a chilling, original novel of folly and destruction. Amidst a Weimar-era milieu of silent film stars, artists, and aspirants, Nabokov creates a merciless masterpiece as Albinus, an aging critic, falls prey to his own desires, to his teenage mistress, and to Axel Rex, the scheming rival for her affections who finds his greatest joy in the downfall of others.
Published first in Russian as Kamera Obskura in 1932, this book appeared in Nabokov’s own English translation six years later. This New Directions edition, based on the text as Nabokov revised it in 1960, features a new introduction by Booker Prize-winner John Banville.