On the heels of a banner year with “Midsommar” and an Oscar nomination for “Little Women,” Florence Pugh is back and ready for another psychological breakdown on the big screen. It’s just been announced, via Deadline, that director Olivia Wilde’s followup to “Booksmart,” “Don’t Worry Darling,” will star Pugh, along with Shia LaBeouf, Chris Pine, and Wilde. This is warmly welcomed casting news amid a halted Hollywood that’s seen, in recent months, deals trickle like a leaky faucet.
BAFTA-nominated screenwriter Katie Silberman, one of the scribes behind Wilde’s directorial debut “Booksmart,” is working on the screenplay for “Don’t Worry Darling” from a spec script by Shane Van Dyke and Carey Van Dyke. Set up at New Line with Catherine Hardwicke serving as executive producer alongside the Van Dykes, the film is a psychological thriller set in a utopian desert community circa the 1950s. Details remain scarce, but that description alone should be enough to drum up fans of “Midsommar,” also a psychological thriller about a utopian community gone mad. Katie Silberman also wrote the summer 2018 hit Netflix film “Set It Up.” Vertigo Entertainment’s Roy Lee and Miri Yoon will produce “Don’t Worry Darling” alongside Wilde and Silberman.
Pugh has made a niche for herself in challenging roles that test her emotional limits, from TV’s “The Little Drummer Girl” to her breakout indie “Lady Macbeth,” in which she played a woman setting fire to her life with giddy abandon. (Not unlike the ending of “Midsommar.”) Shia LaBeouf, meanwhile, is riding high after last year’s “Honey Boy,” which earned him critics’ kudos and award nominations for his performance in a film about his own life, directed by Alma Har’el. Chris Pine will next be seen in “Wonder Woman 1984” when that hits theaters from Warner Bros., set at this point for August 14.
Actor-turned-director Wilde broke out last year behind the camera with “Booksmart,” setting her up as a filmmaker to watch even as she did double duty starring in Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell,” to much controversy over her character. She recently lent her voice to “BoJack Horseman,” and to the Audible original comedy “Escape from Virtual Island.” Her short film “Wake Up,” starring Margaret Qualley, debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.