In April 2020, it was announced that Shia LaBeouf (Fury) would play alongside Florence Pugh (Midsommar) in director Olivia Wilde’s psychological thriller Don’t worry, darling. Then in September of that year, it was said that LaBeouf had to drop out of the project due to “scheduling conflicts” and would be replaced by artist Harry Styles (Dunkirk). But it turned out that there were no scheduling conflicts. In a new interview with Variety, Wilde admitted she fired LaBeouf.
I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work. His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions. It has a process that in some ways seems to require combative energy, and I personally don’t think that’s conducive to the best performance. I believe that creating a safe and trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best. Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and the actors to protect them. It was my job. … A lot of things came out after that that really confused me, in terms of behavior. I find myself really wishing him health and growth because I believe in restorative justice. But for our film, what we really needed was incredibly supportive energy. Particularly with a movie like this, I knew I was going to ask Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was for her to feel safe and to feel supported.
Written by Carey and Shane Van Dyke, with rewrites by Wilde and Katie Silberman, Don’t worry, darling takes place “in an isolated, utopian community in the Californian desert of the 1950s”. It’s about what happens when “a 1950s housewife living with her husband in a utopian experimental community begins to worry that her glamorous company might be hiding disturbing secrets.” Here is the long official synopsis:
Alice and Jack are lucky enough to live in the idealized community of Victory, the experimental company town home to the men who work for the top-secret Victory project and their families. The 1950s societal optimism embraced by their CEO, Frank – part corporate visionary and part motivational life coach – anchors every aspect of daily life in the tightly woven desert utopia.
While the husbands spend each day inside the Victory Project headquarters, working on “progressive materials development”, their wives – including Frank’s stylish partner, Shelley – spend their time enjoying the beauty, luxury and debauchery of their community. Life is perfect, with every resident’s needs being met by the company. All they ask in return is discretion and an unconditional commitment to the cause of Victory.
But when cracks in their idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something much more sinister lurking beneath the attractive facade, Alice can’t help but wonder exactly what they’re doing in Victory and why. How much is Alice willing to lose to expose what is really going on in this paradise?
Pugh plays Alice, with Styles as her perfect husband, Jack, who is hiding a dark secret from her. Chris Pine plays Frank, “the revered boss of a mysterious construction site where all the men work just outside of town.” Gemma Chan is Frank’s stylish partner, Shelley. KiKi Layne and Nick Kroll are also in the Don’t worry, darling cast, and Wilde reserved a “key supporting role” for herself. Pine described the story as “so compelling and so fun and so dark and twisted”.
Wilde and Silberman produced Don’t worry, darling with Roy Lee and Miri Yoon of Vertigo Entertainment. Executive Catherine Hardwicke produced alongside the Van Dykes. Richard Brener, Daria Cercek and Celia Khong supervised the New Line Cinema project.
Are you looking forward to Don’t worry, darling? What do you think of Shia LaBeouf being fired and replaced by Harry Styles? Share your thoughts on this one by leaving a comment below.
Don’t worry, darling hits theaters on September 23rd.
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