What to Expect from ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’

We break down all you need to know about the adaptation of Delia Owens' beloved novel.
Where The Crawdads Sing Cover Final Indd

Welcome to Great Expectations, a recurring series in which we break down the most essential information about an upcoming movie or show. In this edition, we look at what you can expect from — and where you can watch — Where the Crawdads Sing.

In 2018, sixty-nine-year-old scientist Delia Owens‘ fiction debut, Where the Crawdads Sing, was selected for Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club. The novel quickly snagged a spot on Barnes & Noble’s Best Books of 2018 list and then went on to top the New York Times Fiction Best Sellers list in 2019 and 2020. It also became Amazon’s top fiction book of 2019.

Now, Where the Crawdads Sing is a movie, courtesy of Witherspoon, who also produced Gone Girl and Big Little Lies. The adaptation is scripted by Lucy Alibar (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and is directed by Olivia Newman (First Match).

Here’s everything you need to know about the movie version of Where the Crawdads Sing:

Where the Crawdads Sing Release Date (and Where to Watch)

Fortunately, we already have a release date for the Where the Crawdads Sing adaptation, courtesy of Sony Pictures. Unfortunately, that date isn’t until June 24, 2022. Stay strong!

Where the Crawdads Sing Cast

It’s hard to come up with a cast for a beloved novel that does justice to the characters. But it seems Where the Crawdads Sing’s ensemble is pretty spot-on. Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People) plays the lead, Catherine “Kya” Clarke. She is bringing a great deal of enthusiasm to the role, too, telling Elle magazine:

I read the book in a day and a half, and I just fell so deeply in love with her and her world, and what the story was talking about, this idea of loneliness. She’s such a wonderfully complex character — there’s a load of stuff to delve really deep into.

Joining Edgar-Jones in the main cast of the Where the Crawdads Sing movie are Taylor John Smith (Cruel Intentions) as Tate Walker, Harris Dickinson (Beach Rats) as Chase Andrews, David Strathairn (Nomadland), and Jayson Warner Smith (The Walking Dead) as Deputy Joe Purdue.

The supporting players include Garret Dillahunt (12 Years a Slave), Michael Hyatt (Nightcrawler), Ahna O’Reilly (The Help), Sterling Macer Jr., and Eric Ladin (American Sniper) as Eric Chastain.

The Plot

Where the Crawdads Sing follows Kya (Edgar-Jones), a girl who lives on the coast of North Carolina in the 1960s. After being abandoned by her family, she is forced to live alone and becomes a social outcast. One day, her quiet life is turned upside down when a young man named Chase Andrews (Dickinson) is found murdered. And the townspeople suspect Kya of foul play.

Where the Crawdads Sing Trailer?

Unfortunately, there is no trailer for the Where the Crawdads Sing movie just yet, but we’ll add one as soon as it premieres!

Where Delia Owens Found Inspiration for Her Novel

Delia Owens has had an unconventional path to success, to say the least. During her early years, she had no intention of becoming a novelist. In fact, she was a wildlife scientist who worked with her husband, Mark, mainly in Botswana and Zambia.

In an interview with I News, Owens described her history with writing:

Well, my previous non-fiction [books] were at the bottom of the feeding chain, and you’re not going to appeal to many people with that, are you?

She then went on to explain her change of direction with Where the Crawdads Sing:

For this book in my mind, I wanted to combine nature writing with a strong storyline about loneliness and isolation, about how much we can learn about ourselves from animals, and how much each of us needs one another, a strong sense of connection. To me, a book is like a contract between author and reader. Books aren’t cheap, and I didn’t want anyone to feel disappointed. I wanted them to have a reason to turn the pages.

And a reason to turn the pages we have. Just as we will surely have a reason to keep our eyes glued to the screen with the movie.

Aurora Amidon: Aurora Amidon spends her days running the Great Expectations column and trying to convince people that Hostel II is one of the best movies of all time. Read her mostly embarrassing tweets here: @aurora_amidon.