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Everything You Need To Know About ‘Where The Crawdads Sing’

Last summer, Sony Pictures announced the production of their film adaptation of the bestselling novel Where the Crawdads Sing by conservationist and author Delia Owens. If you’re looking for your fix of the “coastal grandmother” aesthetic in this new film set on the east coast, then this is not your film. More Outer Banks than The Summer I Turned Pretty, Where the Crawdads Sing is a drama mystery film that follows the story of girl who raised herself in the marshes of North Carolina.

The trailer for the film was released back in March, and fans were quickly hooked. Not only does the trailer display the embossed words “From Producer Reese Witherspoon & Hello Sunshine,” which is Reese Witherspoon’s media company, but also an illusive new song written by Taylor Swift called “Carolina.” As the trailer teases clips of the film, Taylor eerily sings, “You never saw me here” in the background (talk about a killer combo). Before diving into all you need to know before this film is released on July 15, it’s important to look back to where it all started — when the novel first hit shelves. 

Where The Crawdads Sing is a Global bestseller

Released in 2018, the fictional novel written by Delia Owens was quick to become a global bestselling phenomenon. In fact, the book has spent over 150 consecutive weeks on the bestseller list. Essentially a southern coming-of-age tale mixed with a hint of betrayal and murder, the book is impossible to put down. The plot follows the story of a young girl named Kya, who was abandoned by her family and consequently forced to raise herself in the marshes. Facing adversity after adversity, the protagonist soon becomes engulfed in a murder mystery in which she is the prime suspect — but did she do it?

As hinted at in the trailer, the story quickly takes a turn, and the ending will have you rethinking everything you thought you knew. 

The cast is stacked

The cast for the film is nothing short of spectacular. Daisy Edgar-Jones, who you may recognize from Hulu’s series Under the Banner of Heaven and Normal People or Netflix’s horror-flick Fresh, stars in the film as the role of Kya. At only 24-years-old, it’s safe to say that Daisy is on her way to becoming (if not already) one of the It Girls of the year. 

The film also centers around two men that come into Kya’s life: Tate (a friend of Kya’s sibling who fishes in the marsh) and Chase. Tate is played by Taylor John Smith, most known for his role in Sharp Objects as John Keene, and Chase (infamously known as the high school quarterback and ladies’ man) is played by Harris Dickinson, best known for his roles in Beach Rats and The King’s Man. Jumpin’ and Mabel, who are owners of a gasoline station near the marsh, are also significant characters to the plot and lifelong friends to Kya. Jumpin’ is played by Sterling Macer Jr, and Mabel is played by Michael Hyatt. 

The controversy Surrounding the Film

Despite the excitement surrounding the film, there is a bit — or a lot — of controversy as well, particularly surrounding Owens. Years before she became a writer, Owens and her husband traveled to the country of Zambia and were believed to be involved with a murder of a poacher (one who hunts animals) while in the country. While Owens is not suspected of committing the crime, her son is, and her husband is suspected of covering it up. Without going into too much detail, the author’s experience and the plot of this novel bear striking (and eerie) similarities.

Despite the apparent controversy, the book nonetheless persists to be a global phenomenon, and the film sports numerous powerhouses behind its production: Sony Pictures, Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, and Daisy Edgar-Jones, just to name a few. Regardless of its controversy, the film will still likely shatter box office sales, and shameless Where the Crawdads Sing fans will be excited to see this iconic novel come to life.

What do you think: Will you be waiting in line at the box office on July 15, or boycotting the controversial film’s release?

Hi there! My name is Sydney & I am the Senior Editor for the University of Arizona's Her Campus chapter. I am a Marketing Major & Fashion Minor, hoping to work for a fashion magazine in the future! I am originally from Woodbury, Minnesota and I love traveling, writing, and taking photos!