Jabba’s Films: Taking Where the Crawdads Sing from Bestseller to Blockbuster

Petites FemmesJurassic ParkHarry PotterLe HobbitHunger GamesTrépuscule – adaptations of bestselling books have long been a staple of the silver screen.

Later this year, the best-selling children’s book Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, first released in 1965, promises to brighten up summer school vacations as a musical comedy film featuring tunes from the songwriters behind The Earth and The greatest showman.

Jabba interviews Daisy Edgar-Jones in the video above

Watch Sunrise on Channel 7 and stream it for free on 7plus >>

In October, Mrs. Harris goes to Parisa historical comedy-drama based on the 1958 novel about a widowed housekeeper who falls in love with a Dior couture dress, hits theaters.

And this month, Delia Owens’ best-selling novel of 2018 Where the Crawdads singabout a young woman living in the wild in the deep south swamps who becomes suspicious in the murder of a man she was once involved with, hits the big screen.

Where the Crawdads Sing has been praised for its stunning cinematography. Credit: Sony Pictures

For anyone who isn’t a member of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, responsible for catapulting the book into the big time, film director Olivia Newman explains the phenomenon.

Where the Crawdads sing has sold over 11 million copies,” says Newman.

“It was on the bestseller list for a record 190 weeks…it’s truly a global phenomenon.

“I have to say it was amazing to know that the book kept selling and kept selling and it was also very nerve-wracking as a filmmaker, adapting it to make sure we did it justice.”

Adapting a bestseller into a feature film involves risks, as the director explains.

“A book is its own medium and you can put so much more story into a novel than into a film.

“It’s very painful because there’s a lot of stuff that you just can’t fit into the film, (but) I think the intention was always to be as true to the heart as possible and to the soul of the book.”

Bring a book to life

With a stunning story as its base, the film boasts stunning cinematography of a vast desert that was shot on location around New Orleans and Louisiana between March and June 2021.

It also features a standout performance from 24-year-old rising star Daisy Edgar-Jones, who completely transforms from a playful Londoner into lead character Catherine ‘Kya’ Clarke, the Marsh Girl living alone in a North Carolina wetland. .

She finds herself on trial for the murder of local quarterback Chase Andrews (Harris Dickinson), found dead in the swamp after a brief relationship with Kya.

Kya on trial for murder in Where the Crawdads Sing. Credit: Sony Pictures

“It was a real pinch moment,” admits Edgar-Jones.

“I’ve never been in a movie of this magnitude, and I’ve never been in a movie that’s released theatrically.

“Watching this beautiful cinematography and being part of a film of this kind of epic quality was so magical to be like, ‘God, I can’t believe I’m in this’…it was truly an experience. magical to watch it.

Kya’s casting was central to the film’s success, and Newman reveals global lockdowns played a part in finding the right actress for the role.

“I had seen Daisy in normal people in 2020, at the start of the pandemic.

“I had dove into the show to escape what was going on, and it was just such a beautiful show and his performance was just breathtaking.

“Then when I got this job and we were talking about who would be a great Kya, I remembered this amazing actress from this show.”

Jabba chats with Olivia Newman and Taylor John Smith

Jabba chats with Olivia Newman and Taylor John Smith

The producers sent Edgar-Jones the book and script, giving him just two days to prepare for an audition via Zoom.

“When she opened her mouth and Kya’s voice came out and it was an incredibly moving audition, I don’t think I’ve ever had that experience before of seeing the very first take of an audition, bring us all on our knees.

“She really tapped into Kya’s vulnerability, but also realized that she could also channel that strength and resilience that Kya displays…it was like finding gold.”

Shooting in the swamps

Filming in a swamp posed unusual challenges for a city girl like Daisy.

“I think the weather has been the most difficult because we don’t have a lot of exciting weather in the UK,” Edgar-Jones said.

Daisy Edgar-Jones struggled to adjust to the weather in America’s Deep South. Credit: Sony Pictures

“I remember the first week I was in New Orleans, I woke up with an alert on my phone with a tornado warning and my bed was shaking because the thunder and lightning was so loud.”

“There were days when we were filming and there were lightning strikes and we had to sit in our car and wait for it to pass…at some point the set flooded and the lagoon met the cabin and we couldn’t film.”

Where the Crawdads sing hits theaters nationwide starting July 21, with previews the week before.