Florence Pugh couldn't attend Disney's D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Saturday, but she virtually joined her Thunderbolts co-stars to announce the new Marvel Studios film. The appearance came a week after the hectic Don't Worry Darling premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Pugh missed the press conference for the Olivia Wilde-directed film, but still made an appearance on the red carpet.
"I am so gutted that I'm not there in person to say hi, but I am unbelievably excited to be joining this cast," Pugh said in a pre-recorded clip shown during the Marvel Studios panel. "So please, from me, can you show a lot of love to my cast mates?" Those cast mates include Sebastian Stan, David Harbour, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Wyatt Russell, Hannah John-Kamen, and Olya Kurylenko. Pugh couldn't be there because she is filming Dune: Part Two in Budapest.
Thunderbolts will see Pugh reprising her Black Widow character, Yelena Belova. Harbour will play Red Guardian/Alexei Shostakov again, while Louis-Dreyfus will star as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. Russell will be back as U.S. Agent/John Walker, and John-Kamen will play Ghost/Ava Starr. Kurylenko will reprise her Black Widow role, Taskmaster/Antonia Dreykov. Jake Schreier (Paper Towns) will direct, with a script by Eric Pearson (Black Widow). It is scheduled to open on July 26, 2024.
Last weekend, Pugh's new movie Don't Worry Darling had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. She missed the press conference, officially because she couldn't get a plane from Budapest to get her there in time. However, there have been rumors that her relationship with director Wilde has crumbled. She reportedly fell out with Wilde when she started a romantic relationship with co-star Harry Styles. There have also been reports that Pugh was paid significantly less than Styles.
During the press conference, Wilde only briefly referenced the situation. "As for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, I mean, the Internet feeds itself," she said. "I don't feel the need to contribute. I think it's sufficiently well nourished."
Pugh arrived in Venice in time to walk the red carpet and attend the screening with her colleagues. She did pose for photos with her co-stars, but she noticeably never posed with Wilde and Styles. Chris Pine stood between her and Wilde when the cast gathered for a group photo. Still, when Pugh shared photos on Instagram, she did include Don't Worry Darling as a hashtag.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Wilde more directly tried to shut down the rumors of a rift on the Don't Worry Darling set. "Florence did the job I hired her to do, and she did it exquisitely. She blew me away. Every day I was in awe of her, and we worked very well together," Wilde said. "It is ironic that now, with my second film-which is again about the incredible power of women, what we're capable of when we unite, and how easy it is to strip a woman of power by using other women to judge and shame them-we're talking about this." Don't Worry Darling hits theaters on Sept. 23.