Queen’s Gambit Creator Growth of the Sam Spade collection with Clive Owen

Frank’s series was supposed to follow an older Spade who lived in France in the 1960s.


The Queen’s Gambit dominated the board, so to speak. Since its relatively unfavorable debut on Netflix last month, the limited series has become one of the most talked about shows of the year thanks to heavy word of mouth. Ride this wave of success, co-creators Scott Frank Understandably, a number of future projects are under development, including a potential limited series adaptation of famous fictional detective Sam Spade with none other than Clive Owen.

As reported by The Playlist, Frank discussed his upcoming schedule on an episode of The Watch podcast. Here’s what he had to say about Sam Spade:

“I got the rights to the character of Sam Spade through some wonderful producers … They called me and said, ‘Would you ever want to do anything with this?’ and I said, “No, I don’t know what to do with Sam Spade. It feels a little retro to me, I don’t want to do it,” and I hung up. The moment I hung up came over me an idea. I thought, wait, what if you do Sam Spade later in life when he’s 60 years old? I thought, don’t let him live in San Francisco anymore. He’s an ex-pat now who’s in Lives in the south of France. He went there to help a woman who owned a winery with a problem. He left for work, fell in love with her, she died of cancer, he inherited her winery and now he lives in Bozel, France, it’s 1963, the end of the Algerian war, so all these people come back to the country and there is all this kind of sociopolitical muslim stuff going on, he’s in this little town and the daughter of Sam Spade and [The Maltese Falcon character] He has Bridget O’Shaughnessy in a monastery nearby and he doesn’t even know if it’s his daughter or not. It’s very complicated, but basically his past comes and finds him in this small town in the south of France. ”


Image via Universal Pictures

Frank is co-author of the pilot episode with Oz Creator Tom Fantana, with a total of six episodes planned. For people unfamiliar with the character, Sam Spade is a private investigator who appears in a novel and a number of stories from Dashiell Hammett, especially The Maltese falcon. Humphrey Bogart famous for the figure in John Huston‘s adaptation, which also starred Mary Astor and Peter Lorre. He’s the quintessential die-hard detective, and the thought of Owen portraying an older version of Spade really gets my hype train going. Honestly, however, I’m not wild with Frank’s idea – it sounds like the exact opposite world the character is supposed to exist in. Frank has exactly two more Academy Award nominations for screenwriting than I do, however, so I’m ready to give him the benefit of the doubt.

In addition to Sam Spade, Frank is also working on an adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov‘s Laugh in the dark, with the Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy put on star. It also deals with an adjustment of The Sparrow, the 1996 science fiction novel by Mary Doria Russell that has languished in development hell for over a decade (Brad Pitt was once attached to the project), with Chernobyl director Johan Renck. To learn more about The Queen’s Gambit, click here to watch our interview with stars Harry Melling and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.



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Tom Reimann
(581 articles published)

Tom Reimann is a writer and comedian and sort of Associate Editor at Collider. He has written for Cracked.com, Mad Magazine, BunnyEars.com and Some More News and is a co-founder of the podcast network Gamefully Unemployed.

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