If you haven't read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, stop what you're doing and read it immediately. The Southern murder mystery is one of the most stunning and captivating books I've ever read, which is why I'm over the moon that there is an upcoming movie adaptation in the works. While there are some books you don't need to read before watching the movie, this is not one of them. You can thank me later. This is a story you'll want to talk about with everyone you know and will stay with you months after you finish it.
The story follows a young girl named Kya Clark, who lives in the swamps outside of the small North Carolina town of Barkley Cove in the '60s. After her family leaves her one by one, she lives in the swamp alone, becoming an incredibly talented naturalist without a friend in the world. She eventually learns to read and finds love as well as heartache before becoming the main suspect in a murder investigation that shakes the entire town. The novel spent over two years on the New York Times bestseller list, making it a massive success for unknown author Delia Owens.
Before publishing her debut novel, 71-year-old Owens has spent years working as a zoologist. She had published a few memoirs with her ex-husband about their time studying animals in Africa, but never fiction. She spent a decade perfecting her novel before it was finally published. Apparently, it debuted with only 28,000 copies printed making it an incredibly unexpected sensation.
"I've never seen anything like this in 30 years," Jaci Updike (president of sales for Penguin Random House) told The New York Times. "This book has broken all the friggin' rules. We like to have a comparison title so that we can do sales forecasts, but in this case none of the comparisons work."
Here's everything we know about the Where The Crawdads Sing movie that is currently in the works. So far, we know that the film is in pre-production with filming most likely expected to begin later the year. Fingers crossed for a 2022 release date!
Reese Witherspoon will produce
Reese Witherspoon's production company Hello Sunshine will be fueling the film adaptation of Delia Owens' beloved novel. As soon as the actress added the book to Reese's book club back in 2018, we should have known it was only a matter of time before she obtained the rights. Considering Witherspoon has been behind multiple book adaptations including the TV series Big Little Lies on HBO and Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu, as well as the feature film Gone Girl, we feel confident that they will do the novel justice when bringing the story to life.
Daisy Edgar-Jones will play Kya Clark
Daisy Edgar-Jones was a massive breakout star in 2020 for her portrayal of Marianne in the Amazon adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People. Taking on another complicated beloved literary character isn't easy, but if anyone is up for bringing the "Marsh girl" to life, it's Edgar-Jones. She landed the lead role of Kya, the prime suspect in a murder investigation, and we honestly can't wait to see what she brings to the role. She seems equally excited about the opportunity.
"I read the book in a day and a half," Edgar-Jones told Elle, "and just fell so deeply in love with her and her world, and what the story was talking about, this idea of loneliness. She's such a wonderfully complex character--there's a load of stuff to delve really deep into."
Taylor John Smith will play Tate Walker
Taylor John Smith will play the role of Tate, the boy who befriends Kya in the swamp and teaches her to read. Smith has previously appeared in the HBO adaptation of Sharp Objects as well as multiple films, including You Get Me and Shadow in the Cloud.
Harris Dickinson will play Chase Andrews
Harris Dickinson will reportedly play Chase Andrews, the local boy who also befriends Kya and ends up dead, making her the main suspect in his murder. Dickinson has previously appeared in films, including Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and The Darkest Minds.
Olivia Newman will direct
Olivia Newman is best known for directing the Netflix film First Match as well as episodes of Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and FBI. Though she might not have a lengthy resume, we think it's exciting that a woman will be directing a story with such a powerful female lead.
Lucy Alibar will write the script
Lucy Alibar is a playwright and screenwriter best known for co-writing the Oscar-nominated film Beasts of the Southern Wild, which was adapted from one of her own plays. We can't wait to see how she adapts Owens' story for the big screen!