It isn’t Marvel Cinematic Universe darling Florence Pugh, nor actor-and-director Olivia Wilde, nor seasoned Star Trek and Wonder Woman actor Chris Pine who holds the key to Don’t Worry Darling‘s box office success (or potential lack thereof) — it’s a relative newcomer to the thespian craft, Harry Styles.
Styles, a hit-making singer and former member of boy band One Direction, has an enormous fanbase who movie executives allegedly believe is the main demographic likely to make Don’t Worry Darling a success, should they choose to go see it, according to an expose in Vulture about the film’s troubled production and marketing rollout.
Of all the marquee-grabbing names in Don’t Worry Darling, Styles — who was a last-minute replacement for Shia LaBeouf in the film — is perhaps the least experienced when it comes to acting. His first role was in 2017’s Dunkrik, as a minor supporting character, with the only other acting credit to his name in a movie being a brief cameo as Eros, Thanos’ brother, at the end credits scene for Marvel’s Eternals.
It’s not to say Styles is an outright bad actor by any means. However, we could not help but point out in our own review of Don’t Worry Darling — in which we gave the movie a good score overall — that while Styles is “dutifully charming” for the most part, he still “can’t go toe-to-toe with Pugh when the drama ramps up,” as We Got This Covered’s Tricia Gilbride wrote.
If the anonymous sources cited as executives at rival movies studios in the Vulture article are correct, Styles underperforming in the film — or just not being featured prominently enough — could spell bad news for Warner Bros. Discovery’s desired box office receipts for Don’t Worry Darling, which just can’t seem to stop generating negative headlines about its alleged behind-the-scenes drama.
“They’ve got young girls excited because of Harry Styles, and that’s it,” one of the anonymous sources said in the article.
Even if audiences choose to show up in droves for Don’t Worry Darling‘s opening weekend on the basis of morbid curiosity about all the gossip that is surrounding the film, that is far from a guarantee for financial success. As the Vulture article explained,
“Although that if comes with a big asterisk: If Styles’s fans — the film’s primary constituency, all our exec sources agreed — feel shortchanged by how little the boy-band heartthrob appears in the film, Warner Bros. can expect a steep second-weekend dropoff and may have a rocky road reaching profitability.”
Battling a poor Rotten Tomatoes score of 33 percent, Don’t Worry Darling can’t seem to get out from underneath the shadow of all of the drama that has allegedly taken place on set, with the latest report being that the film’s star Pugh and director Wilde allegedly got into a screaming match at one point.
Don’t Worry Darling is playing at a theater near you.