Olivia Wilde brought the 1950s to CinemaCon, showcasing the first look at Harry Styles and Florence Pugh in the psychological thriller “Don’t Worry Darling.”
Movie theater owners at the annual exhibition trade show got a sneak peek of the trailer, which isn’t yet available to the public. The footage opens on Styles and Pugh’s characters snuggling in bed. They play a husband and wife living in an idyllic experimental community in the California desert, lined with perfectly placed palm trees and fancy cars.
“You and me?” she asks her husband. “Always. You and me.”
Pugh plays a happy housewife, one who becomes increasingly suspicious that her husband’s glamorous company may be hiding disturbing secrets. He’s working on something called the Victory Project, which promises to change the world.
“Do you even know what the Victory Project even is? Have you ever asked?” Pugh asks her dutiful husband. The more she starts to question his work, the more that people think she’s crazy. As she gets increasingly incredulous, she concludes tearfully, “I don’t trust him, and I don’t want to be here anymore.”
Other scenes in the trailer show Styles screaming in a car and later engaging in intimate activities with Pugh on a dining room table. They may not trust each other, but they certainly have no problem getting it on. In another sequence, Styles and Pugh are hot and heavy against a sink… never mind that Chris Pine’s character is in the same room. Later, Styles shows off his signature moves on top of that well-appointed dining room table.
On stage at Caesars Palace, where CinemaCon is currently taking place, Wilde shed a little light on the idea behind “Don’t Worry Darling,” which is inspired by “Inception,” “The Matrix” and “The Truman Show.” She calls the movie “a love letter to movies that push the boundaries of our imagination.”
“I want you to imagine a life where you have everything you could want,” she told the crowd of theater owners. “Not just material, tangible things… like a beautiful house, perfect weather and gorgeous cars. But also the things that really matter, like true love or the perfect partner or real trusted friendships and a purpose that feels meaningful.”
“What would it take for you to give up that life, that perfect life. What are you really willing to sacrifice to do what’s right?” Wilde asked. “Are you willing to dismantle the system that’s designed to serve you?”
That’s the big question at the center of “Don’t Worry Darling,” Wilde teased. (Around the same time, she was handed a mysterious manilla envelope from someone in the audience, but Wilde did not address the contents inside during the presentation.)
Wilde also highly praised her actors (who were not in attendance during Warner Bros.’ presentation on Tuesday night), referring to pop sensation Styles as “an up-and-coming actor with no other career that I am aware of, and he is nothing short of a revelation in this part.”
Of Pugh, who is best known for “Black Widow,” “Midsommar” and “Little Women,” Wilde says her actor is “brilliant, sexy, fierce and tough,” adding, “We knew this movie would live or die off her role.”
Along with Styles, Pugh and Pine, the high-wattage cast includes Wilde, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne and Nick Kroll. Katie Silberman wrote the screenplay from a spec script by Carey and Shane Van Dyke.
“Don’t Worry Darling” is Wilde’s follow-up feature to 2019’s coming-of-age comedy “Booksmart.” Prior to stepping behind the camera, she acted in movies and on TV shows such as “Tron: Legacy,” “Drinking Buddies” and “The O.C.”
Warner Bros.’ upcoming slate also includes “Elvis” (June 24), “DC League of Super-Pets” (July 29), “Creed III” (Nov. 23) and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” (Dec. 16).