A24 Lands Magnus Carlsen Project from Emma Stone, Nathan Fielder

A24, operating under its new mandate to act aggressively in pursuing projects, has just outperformed Hollywood studios and streamers in order to regain the upper hand. Checkmatea landmark feature film centered on a book proposal from Ben Mezrich, the author whose books have been adapted into films such as The social network And Stupid money.

If the transactions close, Checkmate will team up again with Emma Stone and Nathan Fielder, the creator and co-star of her Showtime series The curse. Fielder is attached to direct, while Stone will produce with her husband and partner Dave McCary through the duo’s Fruit Tree banner. It also reunites the duo with A24, who supported The curse. Sources say the book deal is being closed or has been closed while talent deals are still being negotiated.

In the manner of Mezrich, Checkmate sees the author tackling an esoteric and true life whose story is perhaps still developing. According to the proposal circulating, the book would highlight the biggest scandal in chess history, focusing on the generational battle between grandmaster Magnus Carlsen and young chess bad boy Hans Niemann. The latter was accused of cheating in one of two head-to-head matches, which became an all-consuming scandal in the chess world and beyond. According to the package, the story is not just about rivalry and scandal, but the macro backdrop is the rise of a billion-dollar chess industry and the so-called “collision between tradition and innovation ” in the game.

Hans Niemann (left) and Magnus Carlsen (right) were involved in a 2022 cheating scandal that shocked the chess world.

OLAF KRAAK/ANP/AFP via Getty Images; Marcus Brandt/alliance photo via Getty Images

Sales of Checkmate had a seemingly antiquated Queen’s Gambit, with a scope reminiscent of spec or package sales of yore. The book proposal, consisting of 12 pages, matched different talents and producers who were then sent to different studios and streamers, “territories,” so to speak.

Ron Howard was attached to the management and Air For example, scribe Alex Convery titled a package sent to Amazon. Netflix and Apple had one with Welsh actor Taron Egerton attached to star. Harry Potter Producer David Heyman was involved in a package that went to Warner Bros. In total, six producers were involved, according to a source.

Offers were 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 with a 30-minute timer. An offer which was quickly accepted.

“I’ve never seen A24 do this before,” said one insider, who said the deal left executives and agents spinning their heads.

“I guess the A24 is now in competition,” another source said.

A24 is the darling of the film scene, making daring horrors, dramas and documentaries on modest budgets and attracting the coolest filmmakers. But the company has announced plans to expand in recent months, with its most recent film, Civil war, Alex Garland’s $55 million thriller, a prototype for the scale of the film he wants to take to the next level. But it wasn’t easy: one of the projects the company wanted to acquire was Danny Boyle’s return to the zombie genre, 28 years later, but it was an overkill. A24 was determined to flex its muscle on the next project, if the right project fit its plans. CheckmateIndeed.

Mezrich is replaced by CAA. Stone and Fruit Tree are replaced by WME and Anonymous Content. Fielder is repped by UTA and Rise Management.

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News Source : www.hollywoodreporter.com


With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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