When The Queen’s Gambit initially debuted on Netflix in October 2020, the odd little miniseries about chess didn’t seem like a massive hit in the making. But in a short period of time, word of mouth resulted in the series becoming one of the streaming service’s most-watched shows ever. With multiple 2021 Emmy wins and buzz around lead actor Anya Taylor-Joy’s performance, audiences started wondering if director Scott Frank’s commitment to the show just being a limited series would change. But The Queen’s Gambit won’t get a Season 2, according to those involved.
Despite the show’s popularity among viewers, critics, and voting academies, Frank and his co-executive producer, William Holberg, remain committed to the show being only seven episodes, with no follow-up. “I feel like we told the story we wanted to tell, and I worry — let me put it differently — I’m terrified that if we try to tell more, we would ruin what we’ve already told,” Horberg said at a virtual panel after the Emmys on Sept. 19.
That’s fair, as the show’s run covered the entirety of the source material, the novel of the same name by author Walter Tevis. There isn’t more story to tell. Of course, some series have made additional seasons despite using up the stand-alone novels they were based on in Season 1, like HBO’s Big Little Lies and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. But in both those cases, the original authors were alive and helped contribute to the continuation of the story. (In the case of The Handmaid’s Tale, author Margaret Atwood wrote an entire sequel novel.) Tevis, on the other hand, died not long after writing The Queen’s Gambit back in the early 1980s.
But for fans of Taylor-Joy’s performance and Frank’s directing, there is good news. Frank, Holberg, and Taylor-Joy enjoyed the experience of making The Queen’s Gambit, and they plan to do another project all together. It just isn’t going to be a direct follow-up to the Tevis story.
“We’re all certainly going to keep working together,” Horberg said at the panel. He also promised whatever story they choose, it will be in the same vein as The Queen’s Gambit, committing to “try to find another story to tell with the same passion and team of amazing artists.”
Moreover, the team said they would like to bring The Queen’s Gambit co-stars Moses Ingram and Marielle Heller to whatever project they do next. Frank notably name-checked both actors in his Emmys acceptance speech on Sept. 19, noting that Ingram, a first-time actor in front of the camera, had blown him away.
Hopefully, whatever follow-up project the team picks will be announced soon. Meanwhile, all episodes of The Queen’s Gambit are streaming on Netflix.