'Where the Crawdads Sing' Film Adaptation Lands Director Olivia Newman

Hey, where do the crawdads sing? I really don’t know, but thankfully, there’s a movie coming along to change that. The murder mystery novel Where the Crawdads Sing is being turned into a movie by Sony, with Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter producing and Olivia Newman directing. The story follows an author who is accused of murdering her former boyfriend.

THR is reporting that Olivia Newman, director of Netflix’s First Match, has been hired to helm Where the Crawdads Sing, based on the novel by Delia Owens. Here’s a synopsis:

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

It’s described as “a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder,” and the book has been big on the New York Times bestsellers list since it was published 2019 while also being the most-sold fiction book on Amazon for all of 2019.

Beasts of the Southern Wild writer Lucy Alibar wrote the script for the film adaptation, but Newman is expected to handle a rewrite. Newman made her feature directorial debut with 2018 Netflix movie First Match. She’s also directed episodes of Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. There’s no casting in place for the Where the Crawdads Sing movie yet, but Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter are set to produce via their production company Hello Sunshine for 3000 Pictures, which is  Sony’s label devoted to literary adaptations.

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