What is the plot of Don’t Worry Darling?
Set in the 1950s, the drama follows a housewife living in a utopian community known as the Victory Project, which turns out to be riddled with dark secrets.
Who is directing Don’t Worry Darling?
After winning critical acclaim for Booksmart, a goofy high-school comedy, Olivia Wilde is switching gears to direct the psychological thriller.
Who is in the cast of Don’t Worry Darling?
Florence Pugh and Harry Styles lead the cast as husband and wife Alice and Jack, supported by Gemma Chan, Wilde, and KiKi Layne as fellow residents of the desert commune. Chris Pine also stars as Frank, the creator of the Victory Project, who appears to be training Jack as his replacement.
When is the release date for Don’t Worry Darling?
Don’t Worry Darling will finally hit cinemas on 23 September 2022 following its premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September.
Is there a trailer for Don’t Worry Darling?
Two, in fact. The first dropped on 2 May. Equal parts racy and creepy, it shows Florence Pugh’s character growing increasingly suspicious about the true nature of the The Stepford Wives-style town she’s living in, where all husbands–including her own, played by Styles–work on a mysterious project.
A second clip followed on 21 July, giving a better sense of the film’s aesthetic–which calls to mind Slim Aarons’s photographs of mid-century Palm Springs socialites. Also of note: the ’50s costumes, created by Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood’s Arianne Phillips.
It’s based on a story written by Dick Van Dyke’s grandsons
Carey and Shane Van Dyke, the grandchildren of 96-year-old Hollywood legend Dick Van Dyke, originally wrote the story that would become Don’t Worry Darling a few years ago, with their script ending up on the 2019 Black List—an annual rundown of great screenplays that have yet to find producers. Wilde then brought in Katie Silberman, a writer on Booksmart, to help build out their ideas further. During a CinemaCon appearance back in April, Wilde noted that the finished product has shades of Inception, The Matrix and The Truman Show to it.
Gloria Steinem helped to inspire the plot
Olivia Wilde described the film as “The Feminine Mystique on acid” in an interview with American Vogue, suggesting that it will force audiences to consider: “What are you willing to sacrifice in order to do what’s right? If you really think about it, are you willing to blow up the system that serves you?” The idea was inspired by a conversation with Gloria Steinem on how to respond to Trump’s election, in which the activist told Wilde not to pay taxes. “I said, ‘What?’ I own property. I have kids. I don’t think I can do that,” she replied. Then, it dawned on her: “This is why nothing will change. That was the beginning of Don’t Worry Darling. I was like, who’s that person who’s actually willing to destroy the structure that is built entirely for their comfort? That’s a selflessness on a level that I admire but admit is far from the way I live my life.”
It’s bringing back “good sex” in films
In the same cover interview, Wilde explained that psychosexual Adrian Lyne films like Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal were a big inspiration, as they’re “really sexy, in a grown-up way… I kept saying, ‘Why isn’t there any good sex in film anymore?’” The writer of the piece adds that one scene featuring “a hardworking Styles and a most gratified Pugh, is going to generate some serious attention–and, if the devotion of Styles’s fan base is any indication, hysteria”.
Styles’s role was the hardest to fill, but he ended up being perfect for it
Although Wilde initially cast Shia LaBeouf as Jack, the American Honey star later departed the project. Happily, Styles stepped in to replace him at the eleventh hour, with Wilde celebrating her now-partner’s talent and attitude in an Instagram post. “Little known fact: most male actors don’t want to play supporting roles in female-led films. The industry has raised them to believe it lessens their power (ie. financial value) to accept these roles, which is one of the reasons it’s so hard to get financing for movies focusing on female stories. No joke, it is hard to find actors who recognise why it might be worth it to allow for a woman to hold the spotlight. Enter: (Harry Styles), our Jack. Not only did he relish the opportunity to allow for the brilliant (Florence Pugh) to hold centre stage as our Alice, but he infused every scene with a nuanced sense of humanity. He didn’t have to join our circus, but he jumped on board with humility and grace, and blew us away every day with his talent, warmth and ability to drive backwards.”
Wilde was almost the lead
Wilde was planning to star in the film herself, until she watched Midsommar and was blown away by Florence Pugh’s performance. “Any time there’s new talent, it’s thrilling,” she told American Vogue. The director opted for a supporting role instead – appearing as Bunny, a fellow Victory Project housewife who initially dismisses Alice’s concerns about what’s happening out in the desert (“The one thing they ask of us is to stay here, where it’s safe…”) before having her own epiphany.
This story originally appeared in British Vogue.