Olivia Wilde now claims she was given an "ultimatum" by Shia LaBeouf when it came to his initial casting in Don't Worry Darling alongside leading lady Florence Pugh. In a new appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the director revealed more of what she says went down during the early days of the film.
"We had to replace Shia. He is a fantastic actor, but it wasn't gonna work," Wilde told host Stephen Colbert. "When he gave me the ultimatum of, you know, him or Florence, I choose Florence." When it comes to LaBeouf's exit from the film, the Booksmart director clarified that both his assertion that he quit the movie and hers that he was fired were both true. "[Me choosing Pugh over LaBeouf] was [LaBeouf] feeling like he was stepping away and me feeling like we were moving on without him," Wilde explained.
"Early on in the process of making the film, as the director, I tried to mediate a situation between people to try to see if they could work together happily," Wilde explained of the dynamic on set before Harry Styles was chosen to replace LaBeouf. "Once it became clear that it was not a tenable working relationship, I was given an ultimatum. I chose my actress – which I'm very happy I did."
She continued that allegations against the Peanut Butter Falcon actor that came to light later "made me confident we made the right decision." In January 2021, LaBeouf was accused of abusive behavior by ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs, which he would later acknowledge in August. "I hurt that woman," he admitted on Jon Bernthal's Real Ones podcast. "And in the process of doing that, I hurt many other people, and many other people before that woman."
In August 2022, LaBeouf came forward to Variety with emails and video messages between him and Wilde from 2020 that indicated he had quit Don't Worry Darling "due to lack of rehearsal time." He told Wilde, "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." Pugh has not commented on the casting drama amid rumors that she also has been at odds with Wilde, despite The Lazarus Effect actress' repeated denial.