Even before Olivia Wilde's second directorial project, Don't Worry Darling, is set to release in theaters on Sept. 23, it has become an internet obsession due to its increasingly messy behind-the-scenes drama.
Rising tensions between Wilde and the movie's star, Florence Pugh, have been bubbling for months, finally leading to speculation of a full-on fallout between them, with Pugh reportedly limiting her promotional press appearances for the film.
The period drama and sci-fi thriller also features Chris Pine, Nick Kroll, and Gemma Chan. It will also be Harry Styles's debut leading film role after he replaced Shia Shia LaBeouf — who is now also beefing with Wilde over the circumstances of his departure.
at this point i dont even want to see Don't Worry Darling, i want to see a whole documentary style exposé on all the drama surrounding it
Fans had noticed apparent tension between Pugh and Wilde early on, particularly as Pugh has barely promoted the film on her personal social media, and the two women have disagreed on the film's marketing choices.
With much of the attention in the film's publicity focusing on a steamy sex scene between Styles and Pugh, Wilde told Vogue that she wanted the audience to “realize how rarely they see female hunger, and specifically this type of female pleasure.”
But Pugh felt differently, telling Harper's Bazaar, “When it’s reduced to your sex scenes, or to watch the most famous man in the world go down on someone, it’s not why we do it. It’s not why I’m in this industry."
And all the back-and-forth has finally culminated in reports Friday that Pugh will not be doing any additional press for Don't Worry Darling outside of the film's premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 5.
Naturally, the internet's obsession with every moment of this feud has resulted in all the memes and jokes.
LaBeouf and Wilde are also embroiled in a back-and-forth of their own, with LaBeouf releasing private emails, videos, and texts between him and Wilde to counter her claims that she fired him from the movie to "protect the cast" from his "combative energy."
LaBeouf then told Variety that he quit because the actors were not given enough rehearsal time.
“You and I both know the reasons for my exit,” LaBeouf wrote to Wilde in an email he shared with Variety. “I quit your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse.”
LaBeouf also shared a video with Variety that Wilde allegedly sent him in 2020, in which she appears to refer to tensions between LaBeouf and Pugh and suggests that the two stars should "make peace" with each other.
In the purported video, which was shared online, Wilde says, "I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo," referring to Pugh. “If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you guys can make peace," Wilde says in the video.
here is the video of olivia telling shia she wants to work it out and that if “miss flo” could “commit” more than it could happen. please ignore that hashtag on the video I didn’t put it there.
Styles, who has been romantically linked to Wilde since 2020, has also become the subject of internet memes as fans reacted to his "bizarre" accent in the movie.
Wilde has also addressed accusations of a pay disparity between Pugh and Styles, and it was rumored that her romantic relationship with Styles contributed to Pugh's unhappiness on set and her apparent feud with the director. Wilde faced backlash online from some who questioned Styles's lack of acting experience.
putting him next to florence pugh for his first big acting gig was such a set up im crying
Turns out the car chase in Don't Worry Darling wasn't scripted. Florence Pugh happened to flee the set and the crew just ran with it.
Don't Worry Darling has also been intertwined with other events in Wilde's personal life; she was served custody papers from her ex Jason Sudeikis while promoting the film onstage. Sudeikis appeared in Wilde's first directorial debut, Booksmart.
A representative for Sudeikis previously said that he had “had no prior knowledge of the time or place that the envelope would have been delivered" and that "he would never condone her being served in such an inappropriate manner.”
Incredibly, Chris Pine has somehow managed to steer clear of the spectacle.
Chris Pine floating above the Don't Worry Darling controversy like a glorious sea bird
Correction: Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde were not married. An earlier version of this post referred to him as her ex-husband.