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Time to Worry Darling: A Full Timeline of the Rampant Controversy.

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Starring Florence Pugh, one of the most recently successful actresses, and Harry Styles, an iconoclast pop figure, Don’t Worry Darling immediately drew the attention of the masses. (Who doesn’t love Harry Styles??) However, this attention turned into unadulterated scrutiny, that set the internet ABLAZE. So, what happened? How did this “perfect” project go so horribly wrong? Let’s review.

August 2019

The film Don’t Worry Darling was announced as a new psychological thriller that would focus on a utopia turned dystopian.

Early 2020

Olivia Wilde, the Director of DWD, divorces her husband (and beloved actor) Jason Sudeikis.

April 2020

Shia LaBeouf is announced to play the role of “Jack” in the film. Now, there are two important details to remember for this. First, the character Jack develops abusive habits in the film. Second, Shia LaBeouf, while he asserts that he is not a method actor, he’s pretty well known for going to insane lengths to prepare for a role.

September 2020

Due to the boycotts of the film, it is announced that Harry Styles, Olivia’s rumored boyfriend will take Shia’s place. This is originally an incredible announcement for fans, but it will soon turn rapidly sour, and be essentially the source of the controversy.

This is where things get real bad, real fast.

December 2020

Shia LaBeouf is accused of domestic violence by singer FKA Twigs through a lawsuit, in which EXPLOSIVE information is released.

January 2021

Soon after, rumors begin to swirl that Olivia Wilde is now dating Harry Styles. In true Twitter fashion, users began dishing Olivia’s dirty laundry, essentially painting her as public enemy #1 amongst Harry Styles’ fans. Remember how I said that the Harry Styles announcement went sour fast? Yeah, here it is. The film immediately becomes associated with Olivia and Harry’s already hated relationship, and there is nothing scarier than the fury of an enraged fanbase.

April 2022

While on stage at CinemaCon, discussing the film, Olivia Wilde is served custody papers pertaining to her divorce. This further taints the image of the movie as both fans of Harry Styles and Jason Sudeikis unite to mock Olivia. Being served is normally pretty cold, but on stage? Yikes.

Early aUGUST 2022

Fans begin to notice that Olivia Wilde is largely praising Harry Styles, but is seemingly ignoring the efforts of Florence Pugh, who is regarded as the lead character in the film. Similarly, Florence essentially never promoted the film—which is weird, right? It’s a reasonable theory to assume that something odd is going on, but it only gets worse from here.

August 11, 2022

Following a typical PR move, Olivia attempts to resolve the controversy of the unbalanced favor by posting about Florence, saying she’s massively impressed by her performance. But get this, Florence does not engage with the post. In any way. No repost. No comment. No like. Speculation furthers. Now, this is just speculation, but the current running theory is that Florence Pugh and Olivia Wilde disagreed over Shia LaBeouf’s involvement in the film (remember those two important details I mentioned earlier?). Yeah, I would be a little nervous too.

August 24, 2022

Olivia Wilde announces that she fired Shia LaBeouf from her film, a mistake that would put the final nail in the coffin holding Don’t Worry Darling.

August 26, 2022

It all goes down. Shia LaBeouf comes out saying that he was NOT fired, he stepped down. To make matters worse, he says that he was begged to stay on the project, and proved so with a video sent to him, by Olivia Wilde. Blaming Florence Pugh for the turmoil by saying “I think this might be a wakeup call for Miss Flo”. Olivia Wilde is now trending on Twitter with the #TimesUpOlivia, calling her out for not putting Florence’s safety first, and then lying about it to maintain her public image.

September 5, 2022

Reunited, and it feels so good, right? So wrong. On September 5th, the cast reunited for the 2022 Venice International Film Festival for a red carpet, premiere, and question panel, and boy it couldn’t have gone worse. Between Harry Styles struggling to find a positive thing to say about the movie other than “It feels like a movie”, Florence Pugh showing up after Olivia Wilde said she wouldn’t attend due to a “scheduling conflict”, and Chris Pine allegedly getting spit on by Harry Styles? This festival only seemed to confirm the storm of rumors surrounding the film.

So, what now? The movie is set to release on Sep. 23, and with a budget of $22 million, a box office flop would prove to be a massive financial issue for Warner Brothers. Has the controversy turned people off from wanting to watch, or did the drama only fuel interest? Truly, only time will tell.

Carly is a Clinical Psychology Major at UCF. She loves all sports (volleyball and football especially!), Harry Styles, and British Reality TV Shows.