Reese Witherspoon produces inspiring tale ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’
Besides being an Academy Award®-winning actress, Reese Witherspoon is now also a powerhouse producer heading Hello Sunshine, her billion-dollar production company, whose first feature film is Where the Crawdads Sing, based on Delia Owen’s best-selling mystery novel.
(Watch the video in which star Daisy Edgar Jones and producer Reese Witherspoon talk about the film)
“I read the novel in one day. I just couldn’t put it down,” says Witherspoon. “I fell in love with Kya as a main character, as a little girl who’s growing up in a very rural area, shunned by society and trying to find a way to just save herself, just survive. The experiences she has with the two men in her life are both so touching but also terrifying. Delia Owens wrote this book with such authenticity, you could just tell she really grew up in this place.”
Where the Crawdads Sing tells the story of Kya, an abandoned girl who raised herself to adulthood in the dangerous marshlands of North Carolina. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, isolating the sharp and resilient Kya from her community. Drawn to two young men from town, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world; but when one of them is found dead, she is immediately cast by the community as the main suspect. As the case unfolds, the verdict as to what actually happened becomes increasingly unclear, threatening to reveal the many secrets that lay within the marsh.
A literary phenomenon, the book skyrocketed to the top of the bestseller lists when Witherspoon picked it for Reese’s Book Club – and its record-breaking run has lasted over 191 weeks. With over 12 million copies sold in total, it was the top-selling book of 2019 and 2020 and set a new record for the most weeks at #1 on the New York Times hardcover fiction bestsellers list.
“I remember when Reese first told me about this book,” says producer Lauren Neustadter, President, Film and Television at Hello Sunshine. “We loved Kya, we loved the world, we loved the story of her survival, against all odds. When we thought about it as a movie, there was so much that was so appealing. The backdrop is absolutely magnificent and the story is epic in scope. The marsh itself is incredibly cinematic. The lush greens and also the world that she lives in, the lagoon, the beach all of the settings are so incredibly beautiful and romantic. And then Kya herself is such an extraordinary character – an unconventional heroine and certainly the hero of her own story. To see this remarkable woman against such a beautiful backdrop felt inherently cinematic, and it felt perfect to bring to life on screen.”
“I don’t know where my book would be without Reese Witherspoon,” says Owens. “First it was her Book Club, then the Best Seller list, and now the movie. She’s done a lot for this book and for many, many authors.”
3000 Pictures presents in association with HarperCollins Publishers a Hello Sunshine production, Where the Crawdads Sing. Starring Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson, Michael Hyatt, Sterling Macer, Jr., and David Strathairn. Directed by Olivia Newman. Produced by Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter. Screenplay by Lucy Alibar. Based upon the novel by Delia Owens. The executive producers are Rhonda Fehr and Betsy Danbury. The director of photography is Polly Morgan, ASC. The production designer is Sue Chan. The editor is Alan Edward Bell, ACE. The costume designer is Mirren Gordon-Crozier. The music is by Mychael Danna.
In cinemas across the Philippines starting Sept. 14, Where the Crawdads Sing is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Connect with the hashtag #CrawdadsMovie