Recent coverage of Olivia Wilde's Don't Worry Darling has been dominated by her relationships with stars Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, vastly overshadowing the film's content. Despite her conspicuous absence from the press tour, Pugh can give a convenient excuse since she is currently filming Dune: Part Two in Budapest. Pugh's feud with Wilde and its origin, including whether Wilde's relationship with Styles influenced it, remains a mere rumor. Even the film's cinematographer, Matthew Libatique, described the atmosphere on set as "harmonious."
However, a new report from Vulture detailed more behind-the-scenes events related to the 1950s suburban drama — describing a "screaming match" between Pugh and Wilde occurring on set in January 2021. Pugh was reportedly irritated by Wilde's prolonged absences with Styles, whom the director became lovers with shortly after casting, and the couple's attendance at a high-profile wedding despite often lecturing the cast and crew about COVID protocols.
Aside from the personal drama, there were also differences in creative direction."Florence would give input on how she thought the next scene should be shot when Olivia wasn't there," the story's author, Chris Lee, wrote on Twitter. "She was like, 'I'm directing this movie more than you are!' That was yelled at one point and people heard it. That spread all around very quickly."
Eventually, top studio executives intervened to repair the strained relationship between the two actresses. The report stated, "the acrimony between Wilde and Pugh allegedly reached all the way to the top of the studio totem pole, with the highest-ranking Warner Bros. executive at the time, Toby Emmerich, forced to play referee in a 'long negotiation process' to ensure Pugh would participate in the film's life cycle." Pugh eventually appeared in Venice for the film's world premiere, but she missed the press conference because of her travel schedule and did not attend the New York premiere.
Don't Worry Darling finally hit theaters this week after a seemingly unending press tour that left some worrying if endless speculation about Shia LaBeouf and spitting accusations would hinder the film's box office success. An anonymous Warner Bros. executive allegedly told Vulture that senior Warner Bros. brass is unhappy with Wilde's handling of Don't Worry Darling's promotional duties, specifically, how she addressed LaBeouf's departure. "Olivia is either a mad genius who figured out a way to make people more aware of the movie in a way that just drives up the box office," a production source told the outlet, "or she doesn't have any self-awareness that she is f— up her movie."
As of this publication, the film has taken in a combined $3.1 million between Monday IMAX screenings and Thursday shows starting at 4 p.m. Based on these results, the film is expected to gross over $20 million for the weekend. Pre-release projections from Warner Bros. Discovery were $17 million, according to Indiewire. The outlet reported that Don't Worry Darling cost less than $35 million, a smaller budget than Woman King.