Olivia Wilde made a splash with the first movie she directed, Booksmart, which makes her second outing, Don’t Worry Darling, one that many have been eagerly awaiting among the slate of 2022 new movies. The actress/director isn’t resting on her laurels either, as Don’t Worry Darling looks to be a bold and big swing.
An original idea written by Katie Silberman (Booksmart), Carey Van Dyke & Shane Van Dyke (The Silence) and featuring a fantastic ensemble highlighted by Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, there’s a lot to be excited about with Don’t Worry Darling.
Here’s everything you need to know about the movie.
When is the Don’t Worry Darling release date?
Don’t Worry Darling has a release date of September 23 for the US, UK and other global markets. It plays exclusively in movie theaters to start.
What is the Don’t Worry Darling plot?
Billed as a thriller, Don’t Worry Darling centers on husband and wife, Alice and Jack, who live in an experimental 1950s utopian society, or so it seems. Alice begins to fear that there is more to their surroundings than meets the eye. Here is the official synopsis from Warner Bros.:
"Alice and Jack are lucky to be living in the idealized community of Victory, the experimental company town housing the men who work for the top-secret Victory Project and their families. The 1950’s societal optimism espoused by their CEO, Frank (Pine) — equal parts corporate visionary and motivational life coach — anchors every aspect of daily life in the tight-knit desert utopia.
"While the husbands spend every day inside the Victory Project Headquarters, working on the 'development of progressive materials,' their wives—including Frank’s elegant partner, Shelley — get to spend their time enjoying the beauty, luxury and debauchery of their community. Life is perfect, with every resident’s needs met by the company. All they ask in return is discretion and unquestioning commitment to the Victory cause.
"But when cracks in their idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something much more sinister lurking beneath the attractive façade, Alice can’t help questioning exactly what they’re doing in Victory and why. Just how much is Alice willing to lose to expose what’s really going on in this paradise?"
What is Don't Worry Darling rated?
Don't Worry Darling is rated R for US audiences for "sexuality, violent content and language." The movie is rated 15 in the UK.
How long is Don't Worry Darling?
Don't Worry Darling has a runtime of two hours and two minutes.
Who is in the Don’t Worry Darling cast?
Playing the main couple of Alice and Jack are Florence Pugh and Harry Styles.
Pugh is an Oscar-nominated actress (Little Women) who has truly broken out over the last couple of years. In addition to Little Women she has starred in Black Widow and appeared in the Disney Plus original series Hawkeye, as well as Midsommar, Fighting with My Family and the TV mini series The Little Drummer Girl.
Most will know Harry Styles as the singing superstar (formerly of pop group One Direction, now solo), but he has been scratching his actor itch over the last couple of years. He made his acting debut in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and, like Pugh, has joined the MCU, appearing in an Eternals post-credits scene as Eros. He has another 2022 movie coming outside of Don’t Worry Darling called My Policeman.
While Pugh and Styles headline Don’t Worry Darling, the rest of the cast is incredibly impressive as well. Chris Pine (All the Old Knives, Star Trek) is set to play Victory Project CEO, Frank. There’s also Gemma Chan (Eternals) as Shelley, Nick Kroll (Big Mouth) as Bill, Timothy Simmons (Veep) as Dean, Kiki Layne (The Old Guard) as Margaret, Douglas Smith (Clarice) as John and Olivia Wilde, pulling double duty in front of and behind the camera, as Mary.
Don't Worry Darling reviews — what the critics are saying
The reaction to Don't Worry Darling hasn't been great. As of September 22, the movie has a 31% "Rotten" score on Rotten Tomatoes, which classifies it as "Rotten;" it scores a little better on Metacritic, 48, which puts it in the "average/mixed" range.
WTW's Don't Worry Darling review praises the lead performance by Florence Pugh, but admits the mystery at the center of the story isn't too tough to crack for the audience, which can make it a frustrating watch.
Don’t Worry Darling trailer
Don’t Worry Darling shared its first look trailer as part of the 2022 CinemaCon convention at the end of April for movie theater owners, but it is now available for all to watch. It addition to Styles and Pugh getting hot and steamy, the big mystery at the center of Don’t Worry Darling looks very intriguing. Watch the full trailer directly below.
Below is another trailer for Don't Worry Darling, which plays up even more of the psychological elements that the movie is going to dive in to.
Olivia Wilde, Don’t Worry Darling director
As mentioned above, Don’t Worry Darling is Olivia Wilde’s second directing job following 2019’s Booksmart. Wilde was highly praised for her work on Booksmart, which earned a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.
Wilde isn’t slowing down as a director either. She has signed on to direct the movie Perfect, which tells the story of famous US Olympics Kerri Strugg, and is in line to direct an Untitled Sony/Marvel movie, expected to be a female-centric story.
Olivia Wilde and her rise as a director was the focus of a cover story from Variety.
Of course, before she broke out as a director, Wilde was a well known actress, whose credits include House, Tron: Legacy, Cowboys & Aliens, Drinking Buddies and Richard Jewell. She’s also set to appear in another 2022 movie, Damien Chazelle’s Babylon.
Harry Styles' original song for Don't Worry Darling
Harry Styles not only lent his acting talents to Don't Worry Darling, but the world famous musician also contributed an original song to the movie.
Reported by Variety, Styles composed what is being described by director Olivia Wilde as "the trigger song," something that Florence Pugh's character hums and is a kind of theme for the movie. Styles describes the song as both "sweet and creepy, entirely dependent on the context."
It's not clear at this time if there are lyrics to the tune or if we can expect any kind of music video for it. If not, we'll probably have to wait until either a soundtrack is released or the movie has begun playing.
Don't Worry Darling off-screen drama
Unfortunately, the off-screen drama around Don't Worry Darling has seemed to grasp more of the attention than the actual movie. While we won't go into too much detail, some of it has been centered around star Florence Pugh and Olivia Wilde at odds, reportedly over the director beginning a relationship with co-star Harry Styles during filming.
Wilde recently addressed a few of the other buzzy topics on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, including whether Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine and the debate regarding Shia LaBeouf's exit from the movie:
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Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.