Since its release on Netflix on October 23, The Queen's Gambit has wasted no time amassing a huge fan base and garnering major buzz. The seven-episode prestige drama rocketed to the streaming service's top spot just days after its release, with viewers and critics alike (including us) fawning over lead actress Anya Taylor-Joy's beguiling performance as Beth Harmon, an orphan turned world-renowned chess grandmaster in the '60s.
Helmed by Scott Frank, The Queen's Gambit is unparalleled in its pacing; offers clever observations about gender politics; shines in its character development; paints a quiet and devastating portrait about addiction; and manages to make chess downright exciting (a feat in and of itself). Not to mention, the show has a stacked cast, including Taylor-Joy, Bill Camp, Moses Ingram, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Harry Melling, Marielle Heller, among other serious Hollywood talent.
So it's unsurprising that viewers are already wondering (and hoping) that the show will return for another installment. Here's everything we know about a potential The Queen's Gambit season 2.
The show is billed as a "limited series."
Queen's Gambit's first season was adapted from Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel by the same name. The show's plot tracks closely with the book, which means there's no more source material to draw from for a second season. Of course, that hasn't stopped Hollywood execs before; Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, and Handmaid's Tale are just a few popular series that managed to continue (for better or worse, some might say) past their print counterparts. And based on initial fan and critical reception to Queen's Gambit, we wouldn't be surprised to see Beth Harmon dominating chess tournaments in another season.
The cast and crew isn't against a second season.
While the show mostly ties up all of its loose ends by the season finale, it does leave a few doors open for the future. Mainly, how does Beth deal with her newfound success and how does she redefine her life after reaching her ultimate goal?
Speaking with Town & Country, executive producer William Horberg seemed to suggest there was no need to explore those unanswered questions. “The last scene feels like a beautiful note to end the show on," he said. "Maybe we can just let the audience imagine what comes next.”
Taylor-Joy also spoke with T&C saying she's not going to say "never" to reprising her role but that she appreciated how her character's arc resolved. “I adore the character, and I would certainly come back if I was asked to, but I do think we leave Beth in a good place," the actress said. "I think the rest of her life will surely be an adventure as well, but in the quest that she goes on in this to find some form of peace, just some form of being able to be happy with who she is. I think it ends in a nice place.”
Harry Melling, who you probably recognize as Dudley Dursley from the Harry Potter films, was similarly amenable to the prospect of reprising his role as Harry Beltik, one of Beth's competitors-turned-lovers-turned-friends. "It'd be good, right, a Queen's Gambit part two?" he mused to T&C. "The place we end in the limited series is the place we end in the book. I don't know if there can be another one, but stranger things have happened."
It could take a while for a second season to materialize.
With the cast seemingly on board to jump back into their roles as chess pros and prodigies, and with The Queen's Gambit consistently hovering near the top of the Netflix charts ever since it debuted in late October, there seems to be a fair chance the streamer will greenlight a second season of the show. Even so, it will likely be a long time before a new batch of episodes is ready for binge-watching.
For one thing, since the series is based on a novel, Frank and his team would have to work with the late Tevis' estate to devise a storyline for a continuation, a process that could take years. For another, even if the show does manage to get picked up for future episodes, it'll be hard to imagine when their lead actress will have time to film them. When speaking to Marie Claire, Taylor-Joy admitted she's been working non-stop and has already begun her next project, Robert Eggers’ The Northman. She's also set to star in the Mad Max: Fury Road prequel.