Ahead of its premiere, more people were talking about the controversies surrounding Don’t Worry Darling, rather than the film itself.
Directed by, and starring, Olivia Wilde, she accumulated a talented cast including Harry Styles, Florence Pugh and Chris Pine.
As it happens, Olivia and Harry are dating after having met on the set of the film.
Meanwhile, wildcard actor Shia LaBeouf also found himself caught in the middle of the drama.
After Olivia made allegations that he was fired from the production, it forced Shia’s hand to release a statement clarifying his connection to the project.
It all seemed to come to a head during the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival, with spitting speculation and awkward interviews abound.
Here is everything you need to know about the drama orbiting Don’t Worry Darling.
Don’t Worry Darling production begins
This is Olivia Wilde’s second film after the critically acclaimed Booksmart.
According to Olivia herself, Harry Styles was always the first choice the lead role of Jack, but before the coronavirus pandemic he was scheduled to go on tour, making him unavailable.
It resulted in Shia LaBeouf becoming attached to the project instead, with multiple outlets in early 2020 reporting that he had signed onto the project.
However, in September of that year, news broke that he had exited the production, with scheduling conflicts cited at the time.
That very same month, Harry returned to the project after his tour was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Harry was a rising star in Hollywood at the time, hot off the heels of his debut success in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk in 2017.
With Florence Pugh and Chris Pine also attached to the film at this point, the stage was set for filming to begin.
Olivia Wild and Jason Sudeikis’ split
In November 2020, Olivia and Jason Sudeikis ended their engagement.
They had been together since 2013 and despite headlines to the contrary, there was little drama between the pair, according to a source.
In an interview with ET, they said there was "absolutely no drama or scandal."
They added: "If you’re looking for a juicy story, there just isn’t one. They just fell out of love in a romantic way, but still have love towards one another as people."
Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles start dating
In January 2021, reports first started to surface that Olivia and Harry were dating after having met through the film’s production.
Over the course of the following months, the two were spotted together a numerous events, though neither openly commented on the alleged relationship.
However, earlier this summer, Olivia did open up about it slightly, telling Variety that she’s “not going to say anything about it because I've never seen a relationship benefit from being dragged into the public arena.
“We both go out of our way to protect our relationship; I think it's out of experience, but also just out of deep love."
Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh alleged feud
Fans of Olivia and Florence began to suspect there was a feud between the two stars during the production of the film.
In April 2022, some noticed that Florence kept promotion of the film to a minimum on her Instagram.
In a later post, she was seen in a video praising the work of the crew, though there was no mention of Olivia.
Olivia Wilde ‘firing’ Shia LaBeouf
Things really started to kick off in August 2022, when Olivia claimed she fired Shia during an interview with Variety.
She said this was because of “his process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions.”
Olivia explained: “He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances.
“He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances.
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“I believe that creating a safe, trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best work.
"Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job.”
Later that month, Shia hit back at the allegations from Olivia, sharing an email he sent to her following the publication of the Variety interview.
He wrote: “What inspired this email today is your latest Variety story. I am greatly honoured by your words on my work; thank you, that felt good to read.
"I am a little confused about the narrative that I was fired, however. You and I both know the reasons for my exit.
“I quit your film because your actors & I couldn’t find time to rehearse. I have included as a reminder the screenshots of our text exchange on that day, and my text to Tobey.”
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The outlet then obtained the texts Shia was referring to, which included a video message from Olivia.
“I feel like I’m not ready to give up on this yet, and I too am heartbroken and I want to figure this out,” Olivia said in the video.
She added: “You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo, and I want to know if you’re open to giving this a shot with me, with us.
“If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you guys can make peace — and I respect your point of view, I respect hers — but if you guys can do it, what do you think? Is there hope? Will you let me know?”
Venice Film Festival
Don’t Worry Darling finally made its debut at the Venice Film Festival, with Olivia and the rest of the cast in tow.
Fans watched the cast closely, with many commenting on a perceived lack of chemistry between the stars during interviews.
Many noted how Chris Pine appeared to look awkward at the event, allegedly caught in the middle of the drama.
A video was then uploaded online that appeared to show Harry spitting on Chris, though this was quickly denied.
Chris’s representatives said in a statement: “This is a ridiculous story—a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation.”
“Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pines. There is nothing but respect between these two men and any suggestion otherwise is a blatant attempt to create drama that simply does not exist.”
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