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Where The Crawdads Sing - What We Know So Far

Author Delia Owens' novel "Where the Crawdads Sing" was released in 2018, and became an unexpected megahit after an endorsement by Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine Book Club that year. In 2019, it sold more print copies than copies than any other adult title, fiction or nonfiction, according to The New York Times. By the end of that year, it had sold more than 4.5 million copies. According to Delia Owens, the book hit the milestone of 10 million copies sold worldwide in February of this year. This is an absolutely extraordinary feat for a debut literary novel that had an initial printing of 28,000 copies.

So anticipation –- and expectations –- are high for the film adaptation.

The movie is produced by Reese Witherspoon through her $900 million production company Hello Sunshine. Witherspoon is the perfect producer for this project, as she's become the most culturally dominant producer of woman-focused film and television in Hollywood, producing (and sometimes starring) in works like "Big Little Lies," "Gone Girl," and "The Morning Show," among other projects. And it's a sign of how big the "Where the Crawdads Sing" phenomenon is that it's being made into a theatrical feature film instead of a limited series, which is how this kind of literary adaptation is usually done now. Witherspoon wants Oscars, not Emmys.

What is the release date for Where the Crawdads Sing?

"Where the Crawdads Sing" is slated to hit theaters on July 22, 2022, according to a report from Deadline. The film was originally set to drop in June of this year, but in a case of studio reshuffling, it got pushed back a month. Now, the movie will go up against Jordan Peele's next horror flick, "Nope," as well as the animated "Under the Boardwalk."

The theatrical release comes out nearly four years after the book was first published in August 2018. Undoubtedly, the film's producers are hoping people's interest in hearing the song of the crawdads continues into this year. Considering how successful the book was, they'll probably still want to see the movie.

"Where the Crawdads Sing" will be directed by Olivia Newman, who is best known for writing and directing the 2018 film "First Match," starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Colman Domingo. She has also directed episodes of "FBI," "Chicago P.D.," and "Chicago Fire." The script is by Lucy Alibar, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2012 for her screenplay for "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

Who's in the cast of Where the Crawdads Sing?

Kya, the main character of "Where the Crawdads Sing," will be played by Daisy Edgar-Jones, who's best known for starring in the Hulu limited series "Normal People," another adaptation of a bestselling novel. She could most recently be seen in the highly buzzworthy "Fresh," which was also a Hulu original. She will next be seen in the upcoming FX limited series "Under the Banner of Heaven" opposite Andrew Garfield. A young version of Kya will be played by Jojo Regina.

The male leads will be played by a pair of up-and-coming stars. Tate, the kind man who loves Kya, will be played by Taylor John Smith, who is best known for playing John Keene in "Sharp Objects," yet another limited series adaptation of a bestselling novel. Young Tate will be played by Luke David Blumm. Harris Dickinson will play Chase Andrews, the local hotshot who treats Kya with great cruelty. Dickinson is best known for playing John Paul Getty III on the FX series "Trust."

The supporting cast includes "Good Night and Good Luck" Oscar nominee David Strathairn, "Fear the Walking Dead" scene-stealer Garret Dillahunt, "The Walking Dead" alum Jayson Warner Smith, "The Wire" and "Snowfall" actress Michael Hyatt, "The Help" actress Ahna O'Reilly, and "Boardwalk Empire" and "For All Mankind" star Eric Ladin.

What's the plot of Where the Crawdads Sing?

The film adaptation of "Where the Crawdads Sing" will closely follow the plot of the novel, which is a combination of a murder mystery and a coming-of-age tale about a young woman growing up self-sufficiently in the rural south in the 1960s. She learns how to garden and fish and trade with townspeople who are friendly to her and avoid people who aren't. She keeps to herself in her challenging but idyllic life in nature, but the world of people invades when she becomes a murder suspect.

Here's the official synopsis, via Deadline: "The story takes place in the mid-20th century South and centers on Kya, a young woman who is abandoned by her family and has to raise herself all alone in the marshes outside of her small town. However, when her former boyfriend is found dead, Kya is thrust into the spotlight, instantly branded by the local townspeople and law enforcement as the prime suspect for his murder."