The 2018 novel Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens became an instant classic when it climbed the top of fiction charts and stayed for 32 non-consecutive weeks. After the book was selected by Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine Book Club in September 2018, her production company decided to produce the book for a film adaptation in 2020. But are the events of the novel a true story? Here's everything we know.
So, is 'Where the Crawdads Sing' based on a true story?
Author Delia Owens is no stranger to the U.S. South herself, having grown up in Georgia. The book's setting of North Carolina could easily pull from a few of her own childhood experiences. Additionally, before becoming a novelist, Delia published several books on the ecology of Africa, where she and her husband lived for several years. Where the Crawdads Sing was her first work of fiction.
The story of Where The Crawdads Sing follows oddball Kya, who raises herself in the marshes of her hometown after being abandoned by her family for most of her life. When a rumored flame is found dead, she becomes the central figure in a murder. The story explores themes of family, resilience, love, and natural splendor.
While there are several nods to Delia's own life in her novel, it's unlikely that Where the Crawdads Sing is based on a true story. However, Delia and her husband were connected to a real-life murder in 1995, where they were the primary suspects in the shooting of an alleged poacher in Zambia. According to Bustle, the couple was wanted for questioning after they returned to the U.S., and the Zambian government was still investigating the case as of 2010.
When will the 'Where the Crawdads Sing' movie be released?
In May 2021, Deadline announced that Sony Pictures confirmed the Where the Crawdads Sing release date as June 24, 2022. While this might seem far away, the actors are hard at work adapting the masterpiece of a novel that fans know and love. The director is Olivia Newman, known for her work on episodes of Chicago PD and FBI.
Who are the cast members of 'Where the Crawdads Sing'?
The cast of Where the Crawdads Sing is peppered with both up-and-coming stars and new-to-the-scene actors. Daisy Edgar-Jones of Normal People fame will play Kya, and Taylor John Smith will play Tate Walker, with Harris Dickinson as Chase Andrews. Also featured in the film are David Strathairn, Michael Hyatt, Sterling Macer, Jr., and Jayson Warner Smith.
The film's script will be written by Lucy Alibar, and Reese Witherspoon is featured as an executive producer alongside Lauren Neustadter, Jon Wu, Rhonda Fehr, and Betsy Danbury. Filming is set to take place from April 2021 to mid-June 2021 in Louisiana. There have been quite a few pictures of the set so far featuring the cast and crew in beautiful marshlands, so this choice of setting is perfectly suited to the material!
Ultimately, while the film is far from being released, it's nice to know that fans of the novel will be pleased with all the hard work and effort going into the production. Where the Crawdads Sing is a standalone novel, meaning there likely won't be any sequel films unless a sequel novel is written, but hopefully, fans can expect more writing from Delia Owens soon.