The Where the Crawdads Sing movie adaptation is definitely underway, and the project seems to be moving along smoothly. Here’s what we know about the film adaptation of this bestselling book:
What’s it about?
Where the Crawdads Sing is the fictional story of Kya, a girl who grows up in a shack in the marshlands of North Carolina. Though she is an outsider, through a number of personal struggles and difficulties Kya manages to survive and create a life for herself. However, when the body of a local hotshot is discovered, Kya becomes the prime suspect.
It’s a coming of age story entwined with a crime drama, and it tells a tale about resilience, survival and hope.
After its release on August 18, 2018, Reese Witherspoon chose the book as her book club selection for September 2018, which gave it a boost in visibility. The inclusion in Reese’s Book Club launched it to the top of the bestseller lists. As of March 2019, Where the Crawdads Sing had sold over 1.5 million copies and by March 2020, over 4.5 million.
What format will the adaptation be?
It’s planned as a feature movie.
Who’s behind it?
Most recetly, in July 2020, Olivia Newman was tapped to the direct the adaptation. Newman previously wrote and directed Netflix’s feature movie First Match. Lucy Alibar has also been announced as the screenwriter for the adaptation. She previously penned the script for Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Elizabeth Gabler and Erin Siminoff of 3000 Pictures are overseeing the Where the Crawdads Sing adaptation. 3000 Pictures is a Sony label that is a joint partnership among Gabler, HarperCollins and Sony Pictures. The purpose of it is to generate content from literary material, mainly from the HarperCollins catalog, for all platforms.
Gabler is a highly respected film executive who has been responsible for a slew of successful literary adaptations such as The Devil Wears Prada, Life of Pi, and Hidden Figures. She leads a female-dominated team that was described as “the only female locker room in town.”
Hello Sunshine’s Reese Witherspoon along with Lauren Levy Neustadter will serve as producers for the film version of Where the Crawdads Sing, a book which Witherspoon helped to catapult into fame.
The project was formerly at Fox 2000, with Gabler and Siminoff overseeing. However, after the Fox-Disney merger, Disney decided to shutter Fox 2000, and Elizabeth Gabler departed for Sony (and apparently took this project along with her).
What’s the status of the Where the Crawdads Sing adaptation?
As of July 24, 2020, the Where the Crawdads Sing adaptation is officially in pre-production. This means that enough of the pieces are in place for them to be the process of gearing up to make this happen and start filming.
In July 2020, Olivia Newman (Netflix’s First Match) was tapped to direct the adaptation, and in March 2020, Beasts Of The Southern Wild’s Lucy Alibar was announced as the screenwriter.
Previously, Delia Owens noted that she’s made multiple trips to Los Angeles as part of the development process for the film adaptation. As of September 27, 2019, Owens has also stated that the screenwriter is almost finished with the first draft of the screenplay.
— G. P. Putnam's Sons (@PutnamBooks) March 14, 2019
Before that, in May 2019, Delia Owens had confirmed that there was a screenwriter (or possibly screenwriters, plural) working on a screenplay, but stated that she wasn’t at liberty to divulge who it was.
Owens’s exact comments:
“They’ve already started—they’re working on the screenplay now. I don’t think I can say who the screenwriter is. I love the way Reese has adapted other books into movies. They stay with the story of the novel, and I hope that happens for this one.”
In general, this project has been in active development since the book came out (see below for the development timeline). There has consistent progress in its development, even with the shakeup regarding where the project is being developed behind the scenes (jumping from Fox 2000 to Sony’s 3000 Pictures).
Who’s in the cast?
No casting details have been released yet.
When will it be released?
Currently unknown. Still too early.
Is there a trailer or teaser available?
Not yet! Stay tuned.
Where The Crawdads Sing Movie Development Timeline
August 14, 2018 Where The Crawdads Sing (novel) is released.
September 1, 2018 Where The Crawdads Sing is chosen for Reese Witherspoon’s September 2018 Book Club pick.
December 7, 2018 Deadline reports that Fox 2000 will beadapting the film version of Where the Crawdads Sing and that Reese Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine (her production company) will be producing it.
March 14, 2019 G. Putnam and Sons (book publisher) notes via twitter that Delia Owens has met with Reese Witherspoon about the movie plans.
May 1, 2019 Delia Owens notes in an interview that a screenwriter is currently working on a script.
July 15, 2019 Elizabeth Gabler of Fox 2000 moves to Sony as part of a multiplatform production deal with Sony and HarperCollins (and apparently takes this project with her)
September 27, 2019 Delia Owens notes in an interview that the screenwriter has “almost completed the first draft of the screenplay”.
March 11, 2020 Lucy Alibar announced as the screenwriter for the adaptation of the Where The Crawdads Sing screenplay
July 21, 2020 ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ Movie Adaptation Finds Its Director
July 24, 2020 Where the Crawdads Sing officially in pre-production