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'Where the Crawdads Sing' trailer promises romance, mystery on the NC coast

The trailer also features a new original song from Taylor Swift, who is a fan of the 2018 Delia Owens bestseller.
Daisy Edgar-Jones stars a Kya, a young girl growing up in the marshes of the North Carolina coast.
Daisy Edgar-Jones stars a Kya, a young girl growing up in the marshes of the North Carolina coast.Courtesy of Sony Pictures

The “tall tales of the Marsh Girl” will hit the big screen in July, and thanks to a new teaser, fans can see a glimpse of what's to come.

The trailer for the Reese Witherspoon-produced film adaptation of the bestseller “Where the Crawdads Sing” dropped Tuesday, promising romance, adventure and murder off the North Carolina coast. 

Daisy Edgar-Jones, known for her breakout role in another book-to-screen adaptation, “Normal People,” stars as Kya, a young girl abandoned by her family and left to fend for herself. She learns to paint and catch fresh mussels in exchange for enough money to support herself. But her elusive nature leads the rest of the small town to judge her, dubbing her “The Marsh Girl.” 

"Where the Crawdads Sing" is a 2018 book by Delia Owens, named after the regional term for freshwater crayfish found in the South. It follows the dual storylines of Kya’s maturation and an investigation into the murder of a popular boy from the fictional town of Barkley Cove, North Carolina. And based on the trailer, we can expect these plots to connect in the film as well. 

The trailer opens with a lawyer at the murder trial describing Kya’s youth as a “little girl surviving in the marsh on her own, reviled and shunned.” A young Kya, played by Jojo Regina, faces scorn and mockery from her peers.

As Kya grows up, she meets Tate (Taylor John Smith), who becomes a confidant.

“Sometimes I feel so invisible, I wonder if I’m here at all,” Kya tells Tate.

“You are,” he responds. 

After Tate goes away to college, Kya meets Chase Andrews, played by Harris Dickinson, a resident of Barkley Cove, who expresses interest in her. A love triangle ensues, with Kya entering relationships with both Tate and Chase at different points in time. 

That is, until she is investigated for murder. 

The trailer shows Kya on the run from police, as she becomes a prime suspect. The prejudice from the rest of the town only increases after she is caught, arrested and put on trial. 

In addition to romance and mystery, the film is also an ode to the wetlands. 

“Way out yonder, where the crawdads sing, the marsh knows one thing above all else,” Kya says in a voiceover. “Every creature does what it must to survive.”

In addition to teasing the upcoming film, the trailer also introduced one of the songs written for the film, an original composition from Taylor Swift, who is a fan of the book, called "Carolina."

The song was produced by Aaron Dessner, a founding member of the National and Swift’s collaborator on the albums “Folklore” and “Evermore.” The song features chilling vocals and suspenseful lyrics like “There are places I will never, ever go / Things that only Carolina will ever know.”

“I wanted to create something haunting and ethereal to match this mesmerizing story,” Swift said in an Instagram post promoting the trailer.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift described "Where the Crawdads Sing," as a "book I got absolutely lost in."Kevin Kane / Getty Images

“Where the Crawdads Sing” was a pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club in September 2018 and was the most sold adult print book in 2019. Witherspoon’s company Hello Sunshine produced the film, directed by Olivia Newman with a screenplay by Lucy Alibar.

Witherspoon visited the set of the movie, largely filmed in New Orleans, last summer. 

“Between the stunning location, detailed set design and amazing cast & crew, I think I said ‘WOW’ 579 times,” she captioned the photos, which included a photo of her with the three leads. 

“Where the Crawdads Sing” hits theaters in July.