Don’t Worry Darling‘s impending arrival began with anticipation for Olivia Wilde’s directorial followup (starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles) to the well-received Booksmart. As the months before arrival wore forth, however, the movie has become ensnarled within a PR mess, and that doesn’t even begin to touch upon the tangential issue of Wilde being ambushed with court papers (from ex Jason Sudeikis) while she promoted the film’s trailer at CinemaCon.
One of the bigger items of contention with Don’t Worry Darling happens to be the early involvement of Shia LaBeouf, who was meant to star in the role of Jack. Wilde recently claimed that the Transformers star had been fired while stating, “His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions. 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.” Wilde added. Adding to the issue, this film’s production coincided with allegations from Shia’s ex-girlfriend, FKA Twigs, who accused him of sexual battery, assault, and overall “relentless abuse” during their relationship.
However, Shia pushed back on Wilde’s claims of his firing. The actor sent a series of emails to Variety, in which he declared that he had “quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time” back in August 2020. Further, he claimed that he wrote to Olivia (after her recent Variety cover story surfaced), “You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse.”
Further, Shia told Variety that Olivia had texted him during an exchange that seemed to hint at his decision to not do the movie. “Thanks for letting me in on your thought process. I know that isn’t fun. Doesn’t feel good to say no to someone, and I respect your honesty. I’m honored you were willing to go there with me, for me to tell a story with you.” She reportedly added, “I’m gutted because it could have been something special. I want to make clear how much it means to me that you trust me. That’s a gift I’ll take with me.”
LaBeouf also relayed how Wilde allegedly sent him a video (two days after he says that he quit), in which she declared that she was “not ready to give up on this yet.” The video also reportedly hinted at friction between Florence Pugh and Shia.
Don’t Worry Darling (following all of this drama) arrives in theaters on September 23.