Olivia Wilde, Florence Pugh and the ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Drama: A Complete Timeline

don't worry darling venice film festival cast

If you’ve been online in the past 24 hours, you’ve likely seen your timeline full of people talking about Don’t Worry Darling, which premiered at the 2022 Venice Film Festival last night.

Don’t Worry Darling is Olivia Wilde’s second stint as a feature film director, following 2019’s critically acclaimed coming-of-age film Booksmart. It stars Midsommar and Little Women‘s Florence Pugh, and Harry Styles — although that wasn’t always the case (more on that in a moment).

If you haven’t been following the chaotic lead up to this film’s premiere, maybe you’re a little lost as to all the drama that’s been going on behind the scenes, and why the internet can’t stop talking about it. We’re here to help.

Here is a brief timeline of how this highly anticipated film became one of the messiest releases of the year.

April 2020: Deadline announces that Florence Pugh, Shia LaBeouf, and Chris Pine will star in Olivia Wilde’s new psychological thriller, Don’t Worry Darling. Florence Pugh posts a screenshot of the Deadline announcement with an enthusiastic caption.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Florence Pugh (@florencepugh)

September 2020: Shia LaBeouf exits the project, citing scheduling conflicts, and Harry Styles is announced as his replacement.

October 2020: Don’t Worry Darling begins filming.

November 2020: Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis announce that they have ended their seven-year engagement, although there were rumours that the couple had parted ways in early 2020. The couple began dating in 2011, and share two children together.

December 2020: FKA Twigs sues her ex-partner Shia LaBeouf, citing a “relentless” abusive relationship. Two more women (one of them being Sia) accuse LaBeouf of physical and emotional assault. Olivia Wilde voices her support for Twigs online, and Variety reports that actually, LaBeouf “was dropped from the film” due to “poor behaviour”.

January 2021: Wilde and Styles go public with their relationship as they’re snapped holding hands by the paparazzi.

February 2021: Pugh posts an Instagram celebrating the end of the Don’t Worry Darling shoot. She thanks pretty much every one, but doesn’t mention Olivia Wilde by name at all.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Florence Pugh (@florencepugh)

December 2021: In an interview with Vogue, Wilde says that she wants to make sex scenes in films good again. “I kept saying, ‘Why isn’t there any good sex in film anymore?’” she recalls, adding that she wants the audience to “realise how rarely they see female hunger, and specifically this type of female pleasure.”

April 2022: Wilde is served custody papers while promoting Don’t Worry Darling onstage at CinemaCon. Sudeikis denies that the timing of this was intentional.

May 2022: The Don’t Worry Darling trailer drops, and features Styles’ character Jack performing oral sex on Pugh’s Alice. The trailer passes the “Clit Test”, which Wilde celebrates on her Instagram story.

June 2022: Pugh is criticised online for publicly supporting Johnny Depp in the wake of the defamation trial against Amber Heard.

July 2022:  Wilde posts an Instagram calling it “a f**king thrill” to watch Pugh work. Pugh does not like or comment on the photo.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Olivia Wilde (@oliviawilde)

The same day, Pugh posts a poster for Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. Fans begin to speculate that she is ignoring Don’t Worry Darling, as she also hasn’t posted about the film’s trailer.

Rumours begin to circulate that Pugh was unhappy that Wilde and Styles were allegedly “all over each other on set” during the filming of Don’t Worry Darling, prior to the announcement that Wilde and Sudeikis had split.

August 2022: Pugh posts an Instagram teaser for Don’t Worry Darling, which notably features no sex, but does feature a jump scare.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Florence Pugh (@florencepugh)

In a feature with Harper’s Bazaar, Pugh voices her concerns around the Don’t Worry Darling trailer, saying:

“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.

“Obviously, the nature of hiring the most famous pop star in the world, you’re going to have conversations like that. That’s just not what I’m going to be discussing because [this movie is] bigger and better than that. And the people who made it are bigger and better than that.”

Meanwhile, a new Don’t Worry Darling clip is released, and Styles is rinsed online for his accent:

Pugh then announces that she is limiting her promotional appearances for Don’t Worry Darling, and states that she’s busy filming Dune 2 and will fly into Venice directly from Budapest. The Wrap reports that she’s expected to do the press conference and attend the red carpet and film premiere.

Us Weekly publishes a report from a source claiming that Wilde and Pugh had “several disagreements personally and professionally” during shooting, and “that’s why Florence isn’t doing any press for the movie.”

Variety drops a feature with Wilde, in which she states that despite originally citing scheduling conflicts as the reason for LaBeouf’s departure from the project, she actually fired him.

Wilde states: “I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work. 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. I believe that creating a safe, trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best work. Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job.”

LaBeouf quickly responds to Wilde’s claims, emailing Variety that he was never fired from the project, but rather, that he quit because he and the cast “couldn’t find time to rehearse”. He includes a video message Wilde allegedly sent LaBeouf asking him to rethink his decision to exit the project.

In a direct contradiction to Wilde’s claims that she was protecting Pugh from LaBeouf, the video shows Wilde saying that “Miss Flo” needs “a wake up call”.

LaBeouf slams Wilde’s claims as “attractive clickbait” and essentially accuses Wilde of lying about firing him as a way to portray herself in a positive light in the wake of his domestic abuse allegations.

September 2022: It’s reported that Pugh will now skip the Venice press conference for Don’t Worry Darling, making the red carpet and her attendance of the film the only promotion she’ll do for the film. Her people state that Pugh’s private jet is flying in from Budapest, and will land after the press conference.

It’s possibly worth noting that just days before the Don’t Worry Darling premiere, Dune 2 star Timothée Chalamet is busy doing promotional appearances for Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All at the very same Venice Film Festival, while Zendaya is snapped in New York City celebrating her birthday with boyfriend Tom Holland.

The Venice Film Festival Premiere

At the press conference, Wilde dodges a question about the feud with Pugh, stating that “the internet feeds itself” and she doesn’t need to contribute to the “endless tabloid gossip”. When another reporter tries to ask about LaBeouf, the moderator shuts the question down entirely.


Styles goes viral for his description of what he likes about Don’t Worry Darling as he says:

My favourite thing about the movie is it feels like a movie, it feels like a real ‘go to the theatre movie’ like, the reason why you go to watch something on the big screen.”

Meanwhile, Chris Pine goes viral for zoning out while Styles is talking.

Pugh lands in Venice and attends the red carpet. When asked why her role is inspiring on the red carpet, she says: “I think it’s very inspiring when a woman says no, when she fights back. On and off camera.”

Pugh’s stylist captions a behind-the-scenes shot of the actress “Miss Flo”, referencing Wilde’s video message to LaBeouf.


Wilde’s stylist seemingly responds, writing, “there’s always more to the story…”

As they sit down to watch the film, someone captures a moment that people speculate is Harry Styles spitting on Chris Pine, for reasons unknown.

After the screening, Pugh avoids making eye contact with Wilde during the film’s four minute standing ovation.

However, a TikTok shows the pair briefly making eye contact during the standing ovation:


#dontworrydarling #dwd #florencepugh #oliviawilde #venice #venicefilmfestival #florence #pugh #harrystyles #fyp

♬ original sound – claire 🤠💖🍉


Variety tweets that the standing ovation likely would have gone on longer had Pugh not “made her way for the exit about three minutes into the clapping, prompting the rest of the cast — with Wilde at the end — to follow her.”

During the standing ovation, Harry Styles kisses Nick Kroll.

… and, that pretty much sums it up?

Anyway, Don’t Worry Darling will hit Australian cinemas on October 6, 2022.

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.