Even before Olivia Wilde’s second directorial project, Don’t Worry Darling, is set to release in theaters on Sept. 23, it has become an internet obsession due to its increasingly messy behind-the-scenes drama.
Rising tensions between Wilde and the movie’s star, Florence Pugh, have been bubbling for months, finally leading to speculation of a full-on fallout between them, with Pugh reportedly limiting her promotional press appearances for the film.
The period drama and sci-fi thriller also features Chris Pine, Nick Kroll, and Gemma Chan. It will also be Harry Styles’s debut leading film role after he replaced Shia LaBoeuf — who is now also beefing with Wilde over the circumstances of his departure.
Fans had noticed apparent tension between Pugh and Wilde early on, particularly as Pugh has barely promoted the film on her personal social media, and the two women have disagreed on the film’s marketing choices.
With much of the attention in the film’s publicity focusing on a steamy sex scene between Styles and Pugh, Wilde told Vogue that she wanted the audience to “realize how rarely they see female hunger, and specifically this type of female pleasure.”
But Pugh felt differently, telling Harper’s Bazaar, “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.”
And all the back-and-forth has finally culminated in reports Friday that Pugh will not be doing any additional press for Don’t Worry Darling outside of the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 5.
Naturally, the internet’s obsession with every moment of this feud has resulted in all the memes and jokes.