Still from Don't Worry Darling
It's been a Wilde ride. Image: Don't Worry Darling/New Line Cinema
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Your guide to the drama surrounding Don’t Worry Darling and its cast

Olivia Wilde assumes the role of director for the second time in her upcoming film Don’t Worry Darling. The psychological thriller’s features Alice (Florence Pugh), a housewife living in a picture-perfect experimental community, who feels like her husband Jack’s (Harry Styles) company might be keeping secrets.

The Don’t Worry Darling dramatic tension is highly anticipated. However, it appears as though most of the drama has been going on behind the scenes. 

In April of 2020, the full cast was announced, with Shia LaBeouf starring alongside Pugh. Wilde posted a picture of the cast announcement on her Instagram, which Pugh fangirled over, showing her apparent admiration for the director.

One month before filming began, LaBeouf was allegedly fired by Wilde due to scheduling conflicts. LaBeouf was replaced with Styles who, as seen in social media posts, was happily welcomed by fellow cast members. Soon after leaving the project, LaBeouf’s girlfriend at the time started a lawsuit against him for sexual battery.

With filming in development, Wilde told Variety LaBeouf was actually fired due to his “combative energy” and for the other cast member’s safety. LaBeouf immediately called her out for lying and demanded she “correct the narrative,” claiming he chose to leave because of scheduling conflicts. LaBeouf leaked screenshots of conversations with Pugh, stating his unavailability during filming, as well as a video of Wilde begging the actor to return, leading to gaps in her firing narrative. 

At the time of casting, Wilde was engaged to her partner of seven years, Jason Sudeikis. Then, in Nov. 2020, it was announced that Wilde called off her engagement, and, in Jan. 2021, Wilde and Styles made their public debut as a couple. Fans of Styles went crazy with the allegations of his relationship with Wilde, which added flame to the film’s fire.

By April 2021, filming had finished, but the drama was far from over. Since the start, most of the cast was openly excited about the film and sharing it on their personal social media accounts. However, Pugh’s support seemed to wane when she stopped talking about the film online.

Some fans conspired that the Sudeikis-Wilde-Styles love triangle made her uncomfortable, seeing as Pugh is reportedly good friends with Sudeikis. Pugh also told Harper’s BAZAAR she didn’t like the press around her character, stating that “when it’s reduced to your sex scenes or to watch the most famous man in the world go down on someone, it’s not why we do it. It’s not why I’m in this industry.” 

The drama continued into April 2022, but the dramatic peak of events occurred earlier this month at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, when the entire cast of Don’t Worry Darling appeared to be Wilde-ly uncomfortable. 

Styles spent an entire interview talking about how “the great thing about this movie is that it feels like a movie,” while Chris Pine stared out into space next to him. Fans noticed Pugh was missing from all events related to the film and, to make matters worse, Pugh’s stylist — who had previously liked tweets defending Pugh from Wilde — posted pictures of Pugh with the caption “Miss Flo,” seemingly referencing Wilde’s (largely thought to have been condescending) nickname for the actress, which she had previously used in the video where she asked LaBeouf to return to filming. 

The cherry on top was a video taken at the festival, in which many believe Harry Styles spat on Chris Pine. Fans were divided on whether the spitting really did happen, it was a reference to conflicts that happened in the movie, or it was Styles’ way of delivering a secret message. Pine’s team immediately called off any rumours, saying it was simply a camera effect and Styles even joked about it on his show in New York. 

To make matters worse, a clip of Styles’ acting skills was released and had the internet mocking his every move. The movie currently has 38 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes from 56 critics. Esteemed critic Dennis Schwartz said, “The more the film goes on, the less interesting and the more predictable and unoriginal it becomes.”

Nevertheless, fans are anxiously waiting for the movie to premiere in theatres on Sept. 23. It is clear that Don’t Worry Darling has had the drama of a century, and it’s definitely been a Wilde ride.