Emma Stone reunites with Nathan Fielder for A24 film based on a true chess scandal

The stars of The Curse will be breaking out their chess pieces for Checkmate, which was aggressively acquired by the indie studio, A24.

Last Updated on May 3, 2024

nathan fielder, emma stone

Emma Stone knows to stick with what is working as she follows up her 2023 projects (which have garnered significant attention) with more from the same collaborators. Stone recently won an Academy Award for her performance in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things. Lanthimos would also already release a trailer for his next film, Kinds of Kindness, earlier this year and Stone is among the principal cast. Other than Poor Things, last year, Stone would star in a limited series for Showtime with comedic actor Nathan Fielder in a surreal dark comedy called The Curse, which would also feature a collaboration with Benny Safdie.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Stone will also be reuniting with Fielder for another project with A24. The indie studio that features a bevy of off-beat films has recently had its biggest title with Civil War, and the company played its moves aggressively to beat out bigger studios for Checkmate. Checkmate is based on a true story and will be adapted from a book proposal from author Ben Mezrich, whose books were adapted into films such as The Social Network and Dumb Money. Nathan Fielder is attached to helm the movie as the director, and Stone is set to produce along with her husband and producing partner, Dave McCary, with the duo’s label, Fruit Tree. 

The description of the project states, “In true Mezrich fashion, Checkmate sees the author tackling an esoteric and true life whose story may still be developing. Per the proposal that was being circulated, the book will spotlight the biggest scandal in the history of chess, focusing on the generational battle between Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen and the young bad boy of chess, Hans Niemann. The latter was accused of cheating in one of the pair’s head-to-head matches, which became an all-consuming scandal in the world of chess and beyond. Per the package, the story is not only about the rivalry and the scandal, but the macro backdrop is the rise of a billion-dollar chess industry and so-called ‘collision of tradition and innovation’ in the game.” (per The Hollywood Reporter)

An insider revealed that A24’s aggressive method for acquiring the movie included making an offer that guaranteed seven figures and setting a 30-minute timer for a decision to be made. The insider was taken aback as much as the studios were, saying, “I’ve never seen A24 do that before.” Another source stated, “I guess A24 is competing now.”

Source: THR

About the Author

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.