With the help of Reese Witherspoon and her book club, Delia Owens’ novel “Where the Crawdads Sing” has been adapted into a film. Reese’s Book Club designated the novel as a selection back when it was first published in 2018, rocketing it up the NY Times Bestseller list.
The movie will bring to life the story of a young girl, abandoned by her family, who learns to live on her own in her family’s old shack in the marsh in 1960s North Carolina. The girl grows into a clever young woman who knows how to fend for herself and love off the land. Her life becomes a bit more complicated when romance enters the picture, and the story takes a sharp turn.
Here’s everything we know about the “Where the Crawdads Sing” movie so far:
It’s the story of a girl who raises herself
Published in August 2018, the book’s story follows Kya as she navigates growing up all by herself since her family leaves her behind. Kya remains attuned to the marsh where she lives, constantly admiring nature’s beauty from the plants to the creatures to the water. Her close study of the environment teaches her many lessons, and her survival turns into a mostly happy existence.
Two young men take a liking to Kya at different points in her life. There’s Tate Walker, the gentle boy who admires Kya for who she is and observes her with quiet fascination, and then there’s Chase Andrews, who comes from a totally different way of life than she does.
Reese Witherspoon had a hand in the adaptation
The “Sweet Home Alabama” actress started Reese’s Book Club, which selected “Crawdads” as its September 2018 pick. Witherspoon produce the film through her company Hello Sunshine, which has adapted other works highlighted by her book club, including Celeste Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere” on Hulu.
A rising young star plays Kya
Daisy Edgar-Jones fills the lead role of Kya, who has a Southern accent rather than Jones’ English or even Irish one. Edgar-Jones broke out as the star of another book adaptation, “Normal People” on Hulu, and recently starred in the Hulu dark comedy “Fresh” and the FX limited series “Under the Banner of Heaven.”
Taylor John Smith (“Sharp Objects”) plays Tate Walker, and Harris Dickinson (“The King’s Man”) plays Chase Andrews. Joe Chrest, who might be most well-known for playing Mike Wheeler’s father Ted in “Stranger Things,” will play Dr. Cone, and David Strathairn (“Good Night and Good Luck.”) rounds out the main ensemble as Tom Milton.
Others supporting roles include Garret Dillahunt as Pa, Ahna O’Reilly as Ma, Eric Ladin as Eric Chastain, Michael Hyatt as Mabel, Sterling Macer Jr. as Jumpin, Charlie Talber as Mr. Mosley and Jayson Warner Smith as Deputy Joe Purdue. Victoria Paige Watkins and Jojo Regina play Young Kya and Little Kya, respectively. Luke David Blumm plays Little Tate. Logan Macrae plays Jodie, Kya’s brother.
Taylor Swift wrote a song specifically for the movie, which was teased using a cryptic puzzle
The ever-elusive, always-surprising Taylor Swift first announced that she wrote “Carolina” for the upcoming film in March on Instagram, where she posted a clip of the trailer and a snippet of the single accompanying it.
“Where The Crawdads Sing is a book I got absolutely lost in when I read it years ago,” the 32 year-old singer wrote. “As soon as I heard there was a film in the works starring the incredible @daisyedgarjones and produced by the brilliant @reesewitherspoon, I knew I wanted to be a part of it from the musical side.”
“I wrote ‘Carolina’ alone and asked my friend @aarondessner to produce it. I wanted to create something haunting and ethereal to match this mesmerizing story,” Swift continued. “You’ll hear it fully soon, but for now check out the @crawdadsmovie trailer for a clip.”
Swifties spotted the hint about the song’s release, hidden in the captions on 12 recent posts on the @crawdadsmovie own Instagram account, to which she pointed fans back with her original post about the song. The 12 photos contain smaller snapshots of a bigger collage that contains seashells, bird feathers and photographs that lead into clips from the film.
In each of the 12 photos on the account, one letter in the captions is fancier than the others, and when combined together, they spell out ‘This Thursday,’ meaning Thursday June 23. The “Cardigan” singer announced the morning of June 23 that “Carolina” would drop at midnight, and you can listen to it here.
“Taylor Swift writing a song for the film based on these characters was the greatest gift that we could have received,” said film producer Reese Witherspoon. “We got a call from Taylor and her team to tell us she had written a song, ‘Carolina,’ that incorporates so many of the haunting elements of the movie. I’ve gotten to talk with her a couple of times about what inspired the song and how she wrote it. Obviously, she’s a beautiful songwriter who understands so much about folk and country music, and it’s her appreciation of those genres that made the song so perfect for this film. And who doesn’t love a gorgeous, haunting Taylor Swift song?”
Swift wrote the song during her “folklore” era, using instruments that only existed before the 1960s. Her method of recording the song also aimed to emulate that time period.
“About a year and half ago I wrote a song about an incredible story, the story of a girl who always lived on the outside, looking in. Figuratively and literally,” the singer wrote on Instagram when the song dropped. “The juxtaposition of her loneliness and independence. Her longing and her stillness. Her curiosity and fear, all tangled up. Her persisting gentleness… and the world’s betrayal of it. I wrote this one alone in the middle of the night and then Aaron Dessner and I meticulously worked on a sound that we felt would be authentic to the moment in time when this story takes place. I made a wish that one day you would hear it. ‘Carolina’ is out now
It won’t be streaming (at least not at first)
“Where the Crawdads Sing” is being released exclusively in theaters on July 15, 2022, meaning the only way to see the film when it first opens is in a movie theater.
It will eventually be streaming on Netflix as part of Sony Pictures’ deal with the streamer, but not for about five months.