Don’t Worry Darling. That is the name of Olivia Wilde’s brand new film which she will direct and star in, as made possible by production house New Line. But did you know 18 bidders attempted to fund this pie? Quite the feat for a woman with only one film credit under her director’s hat.
According to Deadline, the auction for the film’s rights was a decent one with every studio, streamer and financier in town. “Legendary to FilmNation, MGM, Village Roadshow Pictures, Apple and Universal-based Blumhouse,” reported Deadline. “The bids were narrowed to six and then three, and Wilde made the decision to go with New Line, which was aggressive from the start.”
The actress and director, 35, is coming off a widely-admired directorial debut with Booksmart, the coming-of-age toothless teenage comedy which completely re-wrote the high school graduation script, for the better. Don’t Worry Darling is a psychological thriller about a 1950s housewife “whose reality begins to crack, revealing a disturbing truth underneath.” Based on a pre-existing script, bidders were reportedly extremely happy to hear that Booksmart’s co-writer Katie Silberman will amend and rewrite pieces of the script to suit Wilde’s vision. Like Booksmart, it is made for the 2019 Post-Weinstein viewer and promises a strong male lead. New Line will finance it to the tune of USD $20 million.
Wilde always took an interest in learning more about the different types of creative processes on film sets. “I remember being on the set of Tron, at age 25, and really wanting to do more to control the storyline of my character, and wanting to have a bigger voice in the creative direction,” she said. “To their credit, the producers and director on that film were remarkably receptive to that. It was an awakening of sorts, because while they were being very generous and allowing me to speak up, that wasn’t happening on other sets, and I just felt like I needed more actual control.”
Wilde says she will continue to act in a bid to shadow other directors and learn from them. She also wishes she began directing earlier than she has. “It took me time to get over my insecurity of not having gone to film school,” she told The Guardian in an interview earlier this year. “I thought: ‘How can you become a director without having studied lenses for years?’ I just didn’t realise that my 15 years on set as an actress had actually been my de facto film school and then I’d been spending that time shadowing great directors and also learning from bad directors. Bad professional experiences are just as valuable as cautionary tales.”