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Deadline reported that LaBeouf had to leave DWD due to a scheduling issue, which later ended up not being true. It was soon announced that Harry Styles would be his replacement (Photo provided by @oliviawilde via Instagram).

Tracking Trends: ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ drama is complicated, disappointing to fans of the cast

Olivia Wilde’s "Don’t Worry Darling" has been generating all kinds of buzz since it was announced in August 2019. April 2020 brought the first casting announcement for the film and it has been gaining traction in entertainment media ever since. 

Initially, Florence Pugh, Shia LaBeouf and Chris Pine were cast in the lead roles of the film, the announcement of Dakota Johnson being added to the project shortly after. Wilde was set to play the role of Alice, the main character of the psychological thriller plot, and Pugh as Alice’s best friend, Bunny, but their respective roles were swapped due to Wilde deciding she wanted a younger couple at the forefront of the film. 

September 2020 saw the internet break as Harry Styles was cast to replace LaBeouf as Jack, Alice’s husband. The following month, Gemma Chan was added to the cast and KiKi Layne was cast to replace Johnson’s character, Margaret. Filming started late October 2020 and wrapped February 2021.

Right off the bat, there appeared to be a fair amount of turnover in casting and a quick turnaround to start filming as a result. Johnson is cited as leaving due to scheduling conflicts, but it is the circumstances surrounding LaBeouf that have recently stirred up drama. 

Wilde had previously said that LaBeouf was fired from the film due to scheduling conflicts, later explaining that it was due to poor behavior and conflicts arising with the cast and crew. LaBeouf claims that he quit the film and that Wilde had attempted to keep him on the project, which was followed by a leaked video of Wilde asking him to stay. The video included Wilde saying, “I think this might be a bit of a wake up call for Miss Flo,” which, for many people, is evidence of rumored conflict between Pugh and Wilde on set. 

“I heard that (Shia) didn’t feel like he had enough time to discover the character to be in the movie because … he is a very method actor,” Lily Greiser, a senior studying political science, said. “But then I just can’t believe Olivia Wilde was … digging on Florence Pugh to Shia LeBeouf.”

Kaley Buchannan, a sophomore studying sociology, said that she found it embarrassing to watch Wilde beg LaBeouf to stay on the movie, especially because of the sexual abuse allegations against him and because he allegedly made Pugh feel uncomfortable. 

Aside from tension regarding LaBeouf, rumors began that Pugh and Wilde did not get along on set. Like any actor when they have a movie coming out, Pugh posts about her projects on social media. However, she has posted far less than usual about "Don’t Worry Darling," which many people think is proof of Pugh and Wilde’s alleged conflict. Additionally, there were rumors that Pugh had to take on some of Wilde’s directorial responsibilities because she was too focused on her relationship with Styles. The pair was reported to have begun dating for a few weeks after filming of the movie began. 

“I would feel so upset if I was her, if I was Florence, if I ever saw that, and I would feel extremely disrespected by (someone who’s) supposed to be a fellow actress and superior in the fact that she’s the director,” Buchannan said. “It’s just really disappointing.”

Lauren Key, a freshman studying journalism, said that prior to word getting around about the alleged conflict on set, she was looking forward to seeing Pugh in the lead role after only previously seeing her in "Midsommar" (2019). However, she said that she still plans on seeing "Don’t Worry Darling" despite all of the drama surrounding it. 

Greiser, Buchannan and Key all said that they believe the conversation surrounding Wilde specifically would be very different if a male director was in her place. 

“She even stated (that) it’s very hard in this industry for female directors,” Key said. “I think that in the industry, people are much more critical of women and I think that’s something that people should consider when they’re hating on Olivia Wilde and other female workers in the industry.”


Tate Raub

Opinion Editor

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