Normal People's leading lady, actress Daisy Edgar-Jones, has just secured her latest role, starring in the film adaptation of the New York Times' bestseller, Where the Crawdads Sing. The success of Delia Owen's 2018 coming-of-age mystery novel is no secret, taking out the position of the most-sold fiction book on Amazon in 2019. But when actress Reese Witherspoon picked Where the Crawdads Sing as part of her monthly book club back in 2018, we knew it wouldn't be long before a film adaptation would be in the works.
Edgar-Jones will portray the role of Kya, the "Marsh Girl" and narrator of the film. After being abandoned by her family, Kya takes reprieve in the coastal town of Barkley Cove in North Carolina during the 1960s. Despite her challenges, Kya establishes herself as a respected author, publishing reference books on the local flora and fauna of her marsh. That is until her ex-boyfriend – the town's golden boy – is found dead, and immediately, all eyes are on Kya as she becomes the main suspect in a murder investigation.
It's true that author's often take inspiration from their own experiences, and for Owen, Where the Crawdads Sing hits close to home. In 1996, Owen's and her now-former husband were the subjects of an ABC documentary and a New Yorker feature on their time as conservationists in Zambia, where they were mistakenly caught-up in the tragic shooting of an African poacher. Although the suspicions were never taken further, it's clear to see that some of Owen's experiences shine through in her novel.
Where the Crawdads Sing will be directed by Olivia Newman, the American director and screenwriter behind Netflix's captivating film, First Match. Partnering with Oscar-nominated writer, Lucy Alibar, who will be writing the film's script, and produced by Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter.
This isn't the first literary masterpiece being given the Hollywood-treatment by Witherspoon. The actress boasts an impressive record of book-to-screen transformations, including Gone Girl, Wild, Big Little Lies, Little Fires Everywhere and upcoming series, Daisy Jones & The Six.
Aside from Edgar-Jones, Deadline has reported that she will be joined by Taylor John Smith and Harris Dickinson. Smith will play Tate Walker, a young fisherman from Barkley Cove who falls in love with Kya and eventually teaches her to read and write before heading off to college. Dickinson will play the role of Chase Andrews, the town heartthrob whose murder sparks Kya’s trial.
Alongside Edgar-Jones, Smith and Dickinson, will be newcomer Jojo Regina playing the role of “Little Kya.” and Ahna O'Reilly, Garret Dillahunt, Sterling Macer Jr., and Michael Hyatt with unconfirmed roles at this point.
The film is slated for a July release date, and you can watch the newly released trailer, below.
Until then, if you haven't already read Owen's famous novel, we recommend adding Where the Crawdads Sing, to your winter reading list.