don't worry darling

Having made her feature directorial debut with the acclaimed comedy Booksmart, Olivia Wilde has lined-up a very different sort of follow-up. The filmmaker and actress will direct and star in Don’t Worry, Darling, a psychological thriller about an unhappy 1950s housewife. So it sort of sounds like Mad Men, with more thriller stuff.

Deadline broke the news about Olivia Wilde’s new movie, stating that studios and streaming services are both clamoring for the flick, with “a dozen offers on the table.” Variety, meanwhile, adds that “The project is being described as ‘a psychological thriller for the Times Up era’ will center on an unhappy 1950s housewife. [Katie] Silberman is re-writing a script by the sibling writing team of Shane and Carey Van Dyke, centered on a 1950s housewife.” Here’s an official synopsis:

A psychological thriller about a 1950s housewife whose reality begins to crack, revealing a disturbing truth underneath.

Katie Silberman also co-wrote and produced Booksmart with Wilde, and the duo recently closed a deal to make a holiday comedy together. The good news here is that Booksmart‘s underperformance at the box office hasn’t hurt Wilde’s directorial career. While Wilde’s teen comedy was a huge hit with critics, audiences didn’t turn out in the quantities producers were hoping – although the film wasn’t an out and out bomb, either. While male filmmakers seemingly always back bounce from box office busts, female filmmakers tend to have less luck. Thankfully, such a fate hasn’t befallen Wilde.

“I thought: ‘How can you become a director without having studied lenses for years?’” Wilde previously said of her jump from acting to directing. “I just didn’t realize that my 15 years on set as an actress had actually been my de facto film school.”

It sounds likely that the holiday comedy from Wilde and Silberman will come first since that project already found a home at Universal. But the deal for Don’t Worry, Darling is bound to close week, which might put the project on a faster track. I was a big fan of Booksmart, and I’m excited to see whatever Wilde does next as a filmmaker. I also think she’s a strong actress who doesn’t nearly get as much acclaim as she deserves, so the prospect of her directing herself here is intriguing.

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