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Don’t Worry Darling: Its Glamorous Announcement and Its Incredible Downfall

Read all about the drama surrounding the new film, “Don’t Worry Darling,” its actors, and its controversial director.  

Don’t Worry Darling was first announced in July of 2019, with Olivia Wilde set to star and direct the film. Then in 2020, it was announced that movie star Florence Pugh was joining the cast, alongside singer Harry Styles. The film is about a dystopian society in which Styles and Pugh play a married couple. The movie was filmed in 2020 and completed in early 2021, however, the release date was postponed multiple times. The film was highly anticipated by fans of both Styles and Pugh, however, recent controversies made the film more of a subject of drama, rather than a blockbuster movie.  

Although Wilde was initially supposed to star in the film, Pugh was later cast in the role. However, Styles was not originally supposed to be a part of the cast. At first, his role was to be played by actor Shia LaBeouf. Not long after the cast was first announced, LaBeouf allegedly quit the role because of scheduling issues, causing Styles to obtain the part. However, in December of 2020, LaBeouf faced a lawsuit on account of being abusive toward his ex, FKA Twigs during their recent relationship. Later in December, Wilde came out and said that she had fired LaBeouf because of complications with him and other cast members, specifically Pugh, and she wanted to make a comfortable work environment. However, LeBouf was arguing against Wilde, saying that he quit on his own terms. The movie wrapped in February of 2021, and the final release date was set for September 23, 2022.  

The controversy started when Wilde made a statement regarding the intimate scenes shown in the film. She said that these scenes were essential to the film, and she was upset that she had to cut some out of the trailer. Later, Pugh was asked about these intimate scenes she had filmed with Styles. She responded with, “It’s not why I’m in this industry. Obviously, the nature of hiring the most famous pop star in the world, you’re going to have conversations like that. That’s just not what I’m going to be discussing because [this movie is] bigger and better than that.” (Pugh, 2022).  

The drama continues when a video was released of Wilde begging LaBeouf to return to the cast. Although she had stated previously that she had fired him due to his presence making a hostile work environment, the video says otherwise. In it, Wilde says that she is “heartbroken” that he left the film, and that, “I think this might be a bit of a wakeup call for Miss Flo” (referring to Pugh). She begs him to give the movie another chance and to return to the cast, as long as Pugh, “really commits” (Wilde 2022). Fans immediately were angry with Wilde, saying that she lied about firing LeBeouf, and for making Pugh out to be unamicable. After this video was released, Pugh’s team announced that she would not be doing any press for the movie, as it conflicted with her filming schedule for her new movie, Dune, the sequel. However, fans believe that she does not want to be a part of the film any longer after Wilde’s remarks about her were leaked.  

The cast was recently in Venice for the Venice Film Festival, where they all walked the red carpet together, however, Pugh and Wilde did not seem to converse once.  Pugh did not show up for the press conference, where Wilde was asked about the tension. Wilde deferred the question, instead talking about how good of an actor Pugh is.  

The premiere received a four-minute long standing ovation in Venice, however, Rotten Tomatoes gave the film only a 34% rating. The film is rated R, and is in theatres as of Friday, September 23, 2022, in which Styles, Pugh, and Wilde star alongside Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, and more. 

Grace Herr

Temple '26

I’m a freshman communications major at Temple University, and writer for the arts and entertainment category of Her Campus!
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