Heath Ledger was so obsessed with chess that he wanted to make The Queen’s Gambit with the X-Men star even before Anya Taylor-Joy snatched up the Netflix hit

Long before Netflix became Queen’s Gambit the seeds of an idea were sown into the sensation. Heath Ledger as a director desperately wanted to bring this story to life with the help of the talented Elliot Page, who was then known as Ellen Page, back in 2008. The actor’s struggle with addiction led him to relate to the novel, which was first published in 1983, and so he felt an urgent need to bring Beth Harmon to the screen.

Thus, the creator of the Netflix blockbuster Allan Shiach revealed all the plans that Heath Ledger made before his unfortunate and untimely death.

Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger

Read also: “I knew he would win an Oscar”: Joaquin Phoenix’s terrifying performance convinced his Joker co-star that he was the ideal successor to Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger wanted to do Queen’s Gambit With Elliot Page

Allan Shiak took on the scriptwriting duties. Queen’s Gambit film back in the day, with directors Michael Apted and Bernardo Bertolucci originally attached along with Shiach, who uses the pseudonym Allan Scott, but left early in the process. Heath Ledger later expressed his enthusiasm for directing the film adaptation, noting a number of notable shifts in the project’s creative path.

In an interview with The Independent, the show’s creator said:

“I found that of the three, Heath was the one I wanted to work with – he was passionate about it; he was an energetic, interested young man, and I was immediately attracted to him. We talked and talked about the project on the phone and then eventually met about it late last year.”

Apart from expressing his sincere desire to direct the project, he also delved into casting suggestions for the film. The actor considered Elliot Page, who was known as Ellen Page before his transition, to be the perfect choice for the lead role.

Elliot Page
Elliot Page

Shiah further stated:

“We spent a lot of time over the last three months working on his vision: I did draft after draft, he contributed, and we met several times in New York and here, where he spent a lot of time. We’ve reached the stage of sending the script to Ellen. Heath had plenty of ideas for the rest of the cast, mostly from his list of actor friends. We planned to shoot the film at the end of 2008.”

Even though all the preparations were in place and the project was on the verge of launching, in early 2008 the world tragically lost Heath Ledger to a prescription drug overdose. This heartbreaking event halted the project’s progress indefinitely.

Also Read: ‘The Role Seeps into the Person’: Morgan Freeman Refutes Theory That Romanticized the Death of Joker Actor Heath Ledger as Caused by Too Much Evil

What inspired Heath Ledger to become a director? Queen’s Gambit

As Heath Ledger, who struggled with addiction in his youth, became deeply connected to the story as he immersed himself in both the script and the novel centered on Beth Harmon’s character. Recognizing the importance of shedding light on this story, he considered himself the ideal candidate to explore the essence of the project to its deepest core as a director. Shiakh stated in the same interview:

“Everyone knows that Heath used prescription drugs; and that he had addiction problems in his youth. The film business has lost real talent. I think he would be an outstanding director.”

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen's Gambit
Anya Taylor-Joy in Queen’s Gambit

The creator of the hugely popular Netflix series believed that the actor was perfect for the role. Consequently, he feels deeply grateful that he was able to revive the project after so many years and finally breathe life into it again in 2020, but this time in the form of a series.

All episodes Queen’s Gambit available on Netflix.

Read also: ‘Ryan Gosling looks like the perfect man’: ‘Dune’ star Timothée Chalamet swoons over Oscar-nominated actress Barbie after watching $145 million romantic comedy

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