The “Normal People” star transforms into “marsh girl” Kya, a young woman who was abandoned as a child and left to fend in the wilderness by herself. After being entangled with two town locals, Kya (Edgar-Jones) is accused of murder and put on trial. David Strathairn, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson, and Ahna O’Reilly also star.
Based on the bestselling novel by Delia Owens, “Where the Crawdads Sing” will land in theaters July 15.
Olivia Newman directs the big-screen adaptation of the North Carolina–based book, with “Beasts of the Southern Wild” screenwriter Lucy Alibar behind the script. Reese Witherspoon serves as producer after selecting “Where the Crawdads Sing” for her famed book club. Witherspoon and her Hello Sunshine production company are also behind upcoming adaptations of “Daisy Jones and the Six,” “Your Place or Mine?,” and Dolly Parton’s “Run, Rose, Run.”
“The way that Delia Owens wrote this book with such authenticity, you could just tell she really grew up in this place,” Witherspoon told Vanity Fair. “She really appreciated the nature around her. The book is a love letter to growing up in the South, which for me really resonated because I grew up in New Orleans and Nashville.”
The “Legally Blonde 3” star added, “If you’d come to me when I was 23, I would’ve loved to play Kya. That’s part of why I get excited to be a producer. I get to tell stories that I can’t physically be anymore…but I get to be part of building the teams that bring these stories to life, and it’s enormously fulfilling.”
British star Edgar-Jones admitted it was a “fun challenge” to master a Southern accent for the female-led production.
“It felt amazing to be among such an incredibly talented group of women,” Edgar-Jones said. “Only when you see that yourself can you go, ‘Maybe I could direct one day too.'”
Production on the film wrapped in July 2021, with Edgar-Jones sharing on Instagram that she “can’t wait for you to see Kya’s marsh in all its glory,” calling the novel a “beautiful story” to bring to the big screen.