Olivia Wilde’s latest project Don’t Worry, Darling — a tale of a 1950s housewife whose reality begins to crack — has been snatched up by New Line Cinema, Variety reports. When the psychological thriller was announced earlier this month, it was unclear who would back the project, though Wilde was reported to be directing, producing and starring in the picture.
Now, with confirmation of studio backing, the project can go ahead as planned with Booksmart writer Katie Silberman, Roy Lee and Miri Yoon of Vertigo Entertainment — overseen by Daria Cercek and Celia Khong at New Line. Catherine Hardwicke will also act as executive producer. The script originates from Shane and Carey Van Dyke, so Wilde and Silberman will tackle a rewrite, updating the story “for the Time’s Up era”. This shouldn’t be a problem, as Silberman’s writing credits include Set It Up, Isn’t it Romantic, and The Most Dangerous Game.
According to Deadline, the bid to produce the project was “one of the widest ranging film spec script auctions in years”. New Line’s aggressive efforts eventually won the game, securing a deal to finance and distribute the film. This was no mean feat, given that there were no fewer than 17 other studios in the running — including Netflix and production companies from Legendary, FilmNation, MGM, Village Roadshow Pictures, Apple and Universal-based Blumhouse. After the bids were narrowed down, Wilde made the all-important decision to run with New Line to the finish (line).
From her more humble beginnings, backing from the studio, affiliated with the Warner Bros-affiliated studio must seem like a quantum leap for Wilde (that, or a cattle auction). Here within the Flixist staff we’ve had some differing opinions on her film career. I’m taking the high ground here and defending her — from Tron: Legacy right the way through her weird Cowboys and Aliens phase. In her SXSW keynote earlier this year, Wilde commented on her path into the industry and ultimately her desire for creative freedom, hence working on Booksmart. What started life as an unpromising, shelved collection of pages back in 2009 evolved into the razor-sharp directorial debut we’ve seen this year. Thank goodness for her creative digression — the film might not have made it to the light without her.
Even though Booksmart seemed to flop on release, making only $6.9 million domestically in its opening weekend, it was definitely a hit with critics and fans. For that reason I have high hopes for Wilde’s upcoming projects. Given her proven creative abilities as a filmmaker as well as an actress, it’s little wonder that so many studios are now vying for her attention and a slice of the financial output.
Wilde is currently starring in another project, Clint Eastwood’s The Ballad of Richard Jewell, and will be looking to produce and release Don’t Worry, Darling once dates have been confirmed with New Line.