Where The Crawdads Sing Director Shares How Involved Delia Owens Is In The Adaptation

Daisy Edgar Jones as Kya in Where The Crawdads Sing movie
(Image credit: Sony)

With over 12 million copies of the book Where The Crawdads Sing sold since its 2018 release, it’s fair to say of a lot of people are anticipating the movie adaptation heading to theaters this summer. Reese Witherspoon’s award-winning production company Hello Sunshine and Sony are behind the project, with Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones leading and new filmmaker Olivia Newman taking the helm. But is author Delia Owens involved with the adaptation? 

As it turns out, Delia Owens was vital to the production of the upcoming 2022 movie. When CinemaBlend joined a select few journalists at Sony Pictures in Los Angeles to speak about the film with Olivia Newman, the director shared how the Where The Crawdads Sing author was involved in the making of the movie. In her words: 

She was involved every step of the way. She read every draft of the script and gave notes and every time we cast we showed her the actors. I have to say, she was extremely supportive. I think she understood that the movie was gonna be its own medium, but that we all were coming to it with such a love and passion for her book that we wanted to make sure that we did it justice. And, she came to set and visited and she was just so excited and supportive the whole way. She's just a delightful human being and she was a great resource to us anytime we had questions. I remember when we were making the list of family members in the Bible and I had to call her to talk about well, whose side of the family is this. And so we got to kind of come up with things that maybe she hadn't necessarily dug into and she would get excited to dig into that all over again. Or she’d have whole character histories that she had come up with that we could tap into.

Whereas some authors of famous books either step back from movie adaptations or are simply not alive at the time their work is given the film treatment, Delia Owens was very much an important presense on the film. Newman involved the bestselling author and zoologist in the script, casting and production of the film. The director and author also had extensive conversation about the specifics of the film as well. When asked if Owens has seen the Where The Crawdads Sing movie, Newman said this: 

Yes, [I showed her the film]. She’s very happy. Thank goodness.

There’s nothing quite like the stamp of approval for the author of a book being adapted into a movie, and it sounds like Olivia Newman has one from Delia Owens for Where The Crawdads Sing. The thriller is about a young woman named Kya (Edgar-Jones) who grows up in the North Carolina marsh and becomes the lead suspect of the murder of a former boyfriend. You can check out the latest Where The Crawdads Sing trailer below: 

When speaking to CinemaBlend, Olivia Newman also shared the story behind Taylor Swift’s upcoming original song for the movie, “Carolina.” Like so many, Swift was a fan of the book, and asked if she could pen a song for the movie before the flick had even begun filming. You can prominently hear the new song in the trailer too. Reese Witherspoon’s love for Where The Crawdads Sing, which she previously featured in her book club, was also a major component of the book being adapted. 

Along with Daisy Edgar-Jones leading the film, Taylor John Smith will play Tate Walker, Harris Dickinson plays Chase Andrews, Michael Hyatt plays Mabel, Sterling Macer Jr. plays Jumpin, and David Strathairn plays Tom Milton. Where The Crawdads Sing hits theaters on July 15. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.