Per Deadline, Beasts Of The Southern Wild writer Lucy Alibar has signed on to write the film adaptation of Delia Owens‘ bestselling novel Where The Crawdads Sing.
The novel has been described as “a publishing juggernaut”, as it’s been on the bestseller list for 75 weeks with 4.5 million copies sold. Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter will produce for Hello Sunshine, which is no surprise as Witherspoon’s endorsement of Owens’ first novel on her Reese’s Book Club in September 2018 helped push sales of the book into overdrive.
The story revolves around a young woman named Kya. Abandoned by her family, she raises herself all alone in the marshes outside of her small town. When her former boyfriend is found dead, Kya instantly is branded by the locals and law enforcement as the prime suspect for his murder. The novel mixes genres, and is equal parts haunting crime thriller and coming-of-age story.
That description should make Alibar a great choice. She got an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for co-writing 2012’s Beasts Of The Southern Wild, an adaptation of her own play. She recently adapted another of her own plays, Christmas And Jubilee Behold The Meteor Shower Into Troop Zero. The film version stars Viola Davis, Jim Gaffigan, and Allison Janney, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
“Delia Owens has created a heroine whose strength, perseverance and courage embodies the female character driven stories we are so excited to tell”, Witherspoon said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have Lucy join the team of incredible women who are bringing Kya’s story to life on screen”.