In a recent interview with Vulture, an anonymous source who spent significant time on set, told the publication that tensions between 26-year-old Pugh and Wilde, 38, reached boiling point when the two got into a “screaming match”.
The source alleges that news of the hostility eventually reached studio executives, with Toby Emmerich, the highest-ranking Warner Bros exec, forced to step in as a referee of a “long negotiation process” to guarantee Pugh’s participation in the film “in any way”.
The Independent has reached out to reps of both Pugh and Wilde for comment.
According to another anonymous exec with knowledge of the situation, Warner Bros’ highest execs were ultimately displeased with how Wilde handled DWD promotional duties, particularly with how she’s spoken about LaBeouf’s exit from the movie.
“Olivia is either a mad genius who figured out a way to make people more aware of the movie in a way that just drives up the box office,” an additional source close to production said. “Or she doesn’t have any self-awareness that she is f***ing up her movie.”
A response supplied to The Independent from co-chairpersons and CEOs of Warner Bros, Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, said: “We are so proud of the work that Olivia Wilde has done making this incredibly beautiful and entertaining film and look forward to collaborating with her again.”
It continued: “The studio is very grateful and appreciative of the tireless support by Olivia in bringing her vision to life from production through release. Any suggestion of conflict between the studio and Olivia is simply not true.”
On Friday (23 September) evening, Pugh shared a selection of photos from the set of Don’t Worry Darling to Instagram, writing that she would “always be grateful” for the experience. Wilde featured among the photos.
The reports of a falling out between the director and actor intensified in August after Wilde claimed that she fired Shia LaBeouf from the movie in 2020 in order to create a “safe, trusting environment” on set for Pugh.
However, LaBeouf denied being fired and sent Variety a video he claimed he received from Wilde, which showed the director asking him not to quit the project.
Alluding to tension between LaBeouf and Pugh in the video, Wilde said that LaBeouf leaving “might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo”.
Wilde has since said that the feud is nothing but “invented clickbait”, while Pugh has not commented on or refuted the rumours.
You can read a full timeline of all the behind-the-scenes drama from Don’t Worry Darling here.
Don’t Worry Darling is out in UK cinemas now.