EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild scribe Lucy Alibar has been set to adapt the 3000 Pictures/Hello Sunshine film adaptation of Delia Owens’ New York Times bestselling novel Where the Crawdads Sing.
Published by the Penguin Random House imprint G.P. Putnam’s Sons in August 2018., the novel has been a publishing juggernaut, on the bestseller list for 75 weeks with 4.5 million copies sold. Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter will produce for Hello Sunshine. Witherspoon’s endorsement of the Owens’ first novel on her Reese’s Book Club in September 2018 helped put sales of the book into overdrive.
Gabler and Erin Siminoff will oversee for Gabler’s newly launched Sony Pictures label, 3000 Pictures. That shingle is the partnership among Gabler, HarperCollins\ and Sony Pictures designed to source literary material, mainly from the HarperCollins catalog, for all platforms.
Alibar got an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for co-writing with director Benh Zeitlin 2012’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, an adaptation of her play Juicy and Delicious. She most recently adapted her original play Christmas and Jubilee Behold the Meteor Shower into Troop Zero. That Escape Artists-produced film stars Viola Davis Jim Gaffigan, Allison Janney, and McKenna Grace and it premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
She seems a strong fit for Where the Crawdads Sing, which centers on a young woman named Kya. Abandoned by her family, Kya 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 local townspeople and law enforcement as the prime suspect for his murder. Equal parts haunting crime thriller and coming-of-age story, Where the Crawdads Sing explores the universal yearning for connection, formative first loves and an inner strength one can summon, no matter the obstacles.
“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. “We’re thrilled to have Lucy join the team of incredible women who are bringing Kya’s story to life on screen.”
Alibar is represented by Gersh, Manage-ment and Jackoway Austen; Owens is with CAA and Russel Galen of Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. Hello Sunshine is repped by CAA and Hansen Jacobson.