Shia LaBeouf was originally cast as the male lead opposite Florence Pugh in Olivia Wilde’s upcoming movie Don’t Worry Darling. However, when production on the movie began in 2020, he was let go from the project. At the time the studio cited scheduling conflicts, but now Wilde has explained the real reason for her decision.
“I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work,” she told Variety (opens in new tab). “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.”
Wilde went on to suggest that she wanted to create “a safe, trusting environment” on set to allow people to do their “best work.” She added: “Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job.”
A few months after his exit from the movie, LaBeouf was sued for sexual battery by his ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs. In February 2021, LaBeouf denied the allegations and the lawsuit will go to trial in April 2023.
Wilde also discussed the claims with the publication, adding: “A lot came to light after this happened that really troubled me, in terms of his behavior. I find myself just really wishing him health and evolution because I believe in restorative justice.”
“But for our film,” she continued, “what we really needed was an energy that was incredibly supportive. Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported.”
Singer Harry Styles was cast as Jack following LaBeouf’s exit. Wilde said he was her first choice for the part, but he was due to be on tour. When the pandemic hit, his tour was canceled, which allowed him to join the cast.
Don’t Worry Darling will be making its premiere at Venice Film Festival on September 5, ahead of landing in theaters on September 23. Check out our guide to other upcoming 2022 movie release dates.