It’s been a while since a film has caused as much of a media frenzy as Don’t Worry Darling has before its release.
This is Olivia Wilde’s sophomore film as a director, and the psychological thriller aims to go inside the mind of a woman named Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh) who begins to discover secrets about her seemingly perfect husband and life. Although critics are praising Pugh for her performance, it’s the behind-the-scenes controversies, which entail everything from rumored feuds, on-set romances, potential spitting between co-stars, and casting issues, that have gotten ahold of people’s attention.
Wilde found herself in an awkward situation when she claimed in an interview with Variety to have fired Shia LaBeouf, whom she cast as the lead actor in the film before hiring Harry Styles. LaBeouf refuted her statement, saying he left the film on his own accord and provided a long list of receipts to back his story—and the issues surrounding the film haven’t slowed down since.
But let’s be honest. Even having a pop phenomenon as the lead and Wilde’s extensive promotional tour, the film would not be getting this much attention if it weren’t for all this drama. Like any good publicist knows, any press is good press when promoting a project. And it’s working. People have been talking, tweeting, making TikToks, and writing about it nonstop since the LaBeouf drama, and it all just might inspire more people than expected to turn up at the theaters when the film debuts on Friday, Sept. 23. (Complex attended a Don’t Worry Darling press screening earlier this week and it was packed, which usually only happens for Marvel or franchise films.) There is also some irony in the director catching so much flack over the film when the story centers around a woman standing up against an oppressive system.
Below, we’ve done our best to unpack all that has transpired since production began for Don’t Worry Darling in late 2020 and all the drama that has surfaced since.