Daisy Edgar-Jones, star of the phenomenally popular BBC Three drama Normal People, has been cast in the lead role of Kya in the big-screen adaptation of bestselling novel Where the Crawdads Sing.
The story is set in North Carolina so the 22-year-old actress will have to master the Southern accent associated with the region.
Where the Crawdads Sing will be directed by Olivia Newman, probably best known for the Netflix culture-clash wrestling movie First Match (2018) with a script from Beasts of the Southern Wild writer Lucy Alibar.
The 2018 book, Where the Crawdads Sing, has been a massive success for first-time novelist Delia Owens, topping the New York Times' best-sellers list for 32 weeks in 2019 and 2020 and selling between 8-9 millions copies around the world.
The novel features twin storylines: the first is about a young woman, Kya, who is abandoned by her mother and siblings and is left alone with an abusive father in a marsh near a North Carolina town.
The second, a few years later, follows the murder investigation of her former boyfriend, Chase Andrews, a local football star in the town of Barkley Cove, who at one point had tried to rape her. Kya, by now a respected author of books about the local area, is soon accused of his murder.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter are producing Where the Crawdads Sing for Sony Pictures via their company, Hello Sunshine.
Edgar-Jones starred as Marianne opposite Paul Mescal as Connell in the BBC production of Sally Rooney's novel Normal People, a performance full of depth and the emotional pendulum of first love. It's not hard to see why she's won a role as substantial as Where the Crawdads Sing.
She will be seen next in a "social thriller", Fresh, whose storyline has been kept strictly confidential.
It's not yet clear when Where the Crawdads Sing will go into production or when it's scheduled for release.