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Nathan Fielder and Emma Stone to Reunite for Chess Movie from A24


Nathan Fielder and Emma Stone to Reunite for Chess Movie from A24


Summary

  • A24 surprised Hollywood by outbidding major studios for a 12-page book outline, spending over half a million per page.
  • Nathan Fielder is set to direct
    Checkmate
    , a film about two chess grandmasters, produced by Emma Stone and Dave McCary.
  • Ben Mezrich, known for writing books about money and the people who make it, is behind the pricey outline for
    Checkmate
    . His work has been adapted into the movies
    Dumb Money
    and
    The Social Network
    .



A24 surprised everyone in Hollywood on Wednesday, May 1, as they outbid and outplayed Amazon, Warner Bros., Netflix, and Apple to pick up a feature package. A24 supposedly spent seven figures on the rights for Checkmate, but here’s the rub — it’s a 12-page book outline; that’s more than $83 thousand paid per page. The Hollywood Reporter spoke to people with knowledge of the deal, writing, “Offers were in the process of being made by the streamers and a studio when A24 dove in with what sources say was an offer that guaranteed seven figures, and came in with a 30-minute timer. It was an offer that was swiftly accepted.”



I’ve never seen A24 do that before
,” said one insider, who said the deal left executives and agents’ head spinning.

“I guess A24 is competing now,” said another source.

Nathan Fielder is set to direct Checkmate, which will follow the contentious and controversial battle between two chess grandmasters, the older Norwegian Magnus Carlsen and the younger prodigy, Hans Niemann, who was ultimately accused of cheating during their game. Emma Stone and her husband and producing partner under Fruit Tree, Dave McCary, are set to produce; there’s no word yet on if she (or who) will star.

The pricey outline comes from Ben Mezrich, who has some weight in the industry, having written the books behind the films Dumb Money and The Social Network. In fact, it was again just a book outline when it was sold and developed by Aarok Sorkin into that latter film. Ben Mezrich is kind of the Bill O’Reilly of economics and tech, but instead of giving a glossy dramatic sheen to history, Mezrich creates dramatic non-fiction accounts of stock markets, cryptocurrency, social media, and billionaires.


Related

Emma Stone & Nathan Fielder Star in New Trailer for The Curse, About Marriage, HGTV, and the Supernatural

The full trailer for The Curse teases Showtime’s genre-bending series starring Emma Stone and Nathan Fielder.


Nathan Fielder and Emma Stone’s Last Project Was a Bizarre Masterpiece

Fielder and Stone recently collaborated with A24 (alongside Benny Safdie) on the Showtime series, The Curse. An extremely uncomfortable dramedy about husband-and-wife property developers financing a vanity project reality show for HGTV, which follows them as they create ‘sustainable’ and ‘community conscious’ programs for Española residents.


Fielder directed The Curse in a genuinely unsettling way, tapping into the nightmarish sense of absurdity that he mastered in HBO’s The Rehearsal. Checkmate certainly doesn’t seem like a project fit for Fielder, who has spent his career focused on the blurred line between media and reality, and the way capitalism and power distorts both identity and intention. Whatever happens, though, we’re sure Fielder will create another unforgettable project.

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