The upcoming thriller Don’t Worry Darling has been subject to months of behind-the-scenes controversy, and it’s fair to wonder if the ongoing drama will affect its success in some way. Since it was announced back in 2020, Don’t Worry Darling has been full of intrigue, at first thanks to its promising director and exciting cast, but more recently because of rumors and reports of drama between its stars and director. Audiences can only wonder if there will be any fallout from the coverage.
Don’t Worry Darling is the second round in the director’s chair for Olivia Wilde, whose directorial debut, Booksmart, was a critical success but box office failure. Don’t Worry Darling is wildly different, a psychological thriller set in 1950s suburbia. It follows a married couple Alice, played by Florence Pugh, and her doting husband Jack, played by pop star Harry Styles, who move to a seemingly utopian development Jack’s company is building. Alice, though, quickly comes to realize that her perfect suburban life is not what it seems. With the likes of Chris Pine and Gemma Chan joining in, the cast is packed full of talent. The story is intriguing, to say the least, as the trailer alludes to a secret cult-like organization controlling their perfect life. Aside from the decorated cast and exciting plot, however, the film has been plagued with drama and controversy.
Production for the film started in 2020, and it was hit with scandal almost immediately. Starting with a significant casting dispute, Shia LaBeouf was allegedly fired for creating an uncomfortable work environment. He was replaced in Don’t Worry Darling‘s cast by Harry Styles, and only a few months later, a relationship began between Styles and director Olivia Wilde. The scandals have only escalated as tabloid sources recently started reporting on a rumored feud between the director and her leading lady, Florence Pugh. These rumors gained lots of media attention, and not all the attention has been good. Harry Styles fans on social media have been quick to point out that this could cause problems for the movie and the reputations of those involved. This comes after LaBeouf called out Wilde and denied that he was fired from the set, claiming he left of his own accord. Plus, the ongoing tension between Florence Pugh and Olivia Wilde comes with rumors of a wage gap, inappropriate relationship dynamics, and the uncomfortable sexualization of the film. The drama hasn’t slowed down, considering more rumors have surfaced in light of the Venice Film Festival. All of this could prove detrimental to Don’t Worry Darling’s overall success–potentially.
Don’t Worry Darling’s Controversies Could Actually Help The Movie
Despite the drama plaguing it, Don’t Worry Darling has the potential to do extremely well at the box office and with audiences in general. The cast alone will likely bring large crowds to the theaters, as Harry Styles fans flocked to their local cinema for his short appearance in the post-credits of Eternals. Scandals and controversy also breed interest, and it’s fair to guess many will watch the movie just to see what all the fuss was about. Plus, despite the star power attached, Don’t Worry Darling was a smaller budget, more niche film. Thanks to the movie and its stars regularly being the fodder for tabloids and the rumor mill, far more people have heard of it now than they would have without the controversy surrounding it.
Although the box office will hopefully do well, the same can’t be said about the critical reception or the film’s reputation. Early reviews of Don’t Worry Darling have been mixed, with some claiming that Florence Pugh’s performance is the only standout. On the other hand, the movie received praise in the form of a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. Not much is known about Don’t Worry Darling’s actual story yet, but all eyes will certainly be on the production leading up to its release.