What might have been. Olivia Wilde claimed the Motion Picture Association requested major cuts in the original Don’t Worry Darling trailer — and demanded the removal of sex scenes.
“There’s a lot that had to be taken out of the trailer,” the Booksmart director, 38, told the Associated Press on Wednesday, August 31. “The MPA came down hard on me and the trailer at the last second and I had to cut some shots, which I was upset about because I thought they it took it up another notch. But of course we still live in a really puritanical society.”
The House alum added that she believes some of the cuts can be attributed to societal discomfort with seeing “female pleasure” on screen.
“I do think the lack of eroticism in American film is kind of new,” the New York native explained. “Then when it comes to female pleasure, it’s something that we just don’t see very often unless you’re talking about queer cinema. You know, it’s interesting, because in a lot of queer films, the female characters are allowed to have more pleasure. Audiences aren’t as puritanical as corporations think they are. And yet people get upset. I mean, people are upset with me already over this.”
When the movie’s trailer first dropped in May, social media was abuzz about a scene where Harry Styles‘ character seemingly performs oral sex on Florence Pugh. The Little Women actress, 26, later admitted that she’s tired of the focus on the film’s NSFW moments.
“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,” the U.K. native told Harper’s Bazaar for the magazine’s September cover story. “Obviously, the nature of hiring the most famous pop star in the world, you’re going to have conversations like that. That’s just not what I’m going to be discussing because [this movie is] bigger and better than that. And the people who made it are bigger and better than that.”
Don’t Worry Darling has made headlines for other reasons as well, including Shia LaBeouf‘s exit from the project in August 2020. Wilde claimed in an August 24 Variety profile that she fired the Even Stevens alum, 36, because of his “combative energy” on set.
LaBeouf, however, disputed this account, telling Variety on August 25 that he actually “quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time.” The Transformers star sent the outlet emails he allegedly exchanged with the Richard Jewell actress, in which he wrote: “You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse.”
The Peanut Butter Falcon actor also included a video that Wilde allegedly sent him in August 2020. “I feel like I’m not ready to give up on this yet, and I too am heartbroken and I want to figure this out,” the O.C. alum said in the clip, seemingly referring to LaBeouf’s departure from the project.
Don’t Worry Darling premieres on Friday, September 23.