Production on the Olivia Wilde-directed film Don’t Worry Darling was halted by New Line after a crew member tested positive for COVID-19, the studio confirmed. The shutdown was immediate in downtown Los Angeles.
The film, which stars Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, KiKi Layne, Gemma Chan, Nick Kroll and Wilde, has been written by Carey and Shane Van Dyke with rewrites by Wilde’s Booksmart partner Katie Silberman. In 2019, Wilde directed her first film, the critically acclaimed teen comedy Booksmart, which won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.
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Don’t Worry Darling, a psychological thriller, revolves around a 1950s housewife, who discovers that her husband is harboring a dark secret. It was announced in August 2019 that a bidding war amongst 18 studios was underway to purchase the rights to the film. It was won by New Line Cinema the same month. The screenplay appeared on the 2019 Black List, an annual survey of the “most-liked” motion picture screenplays not yet produced.
The film had reportedly been following strict protocols, and the positive test showed up during routine testing. The studio did not confirm who tested positive, though sources say it is not a member of the main cast. So far, no one else has tested positive.
The film will stop production for roughly 14 days, the standard quarantine period. After the positive test was revealed, everyone was isolated immediately. The film, which began production last month, was only a couple weeks into production.
Severeal films have had to halt production due to positive COVID tests, including the Baz Luhrmann-directed Elvis Presley film, which shut down when star Tom Hanks tested positive. Also, Robert Pattinson tested positive during the shooting of the Matt Reeves-directed The Batman.
A shutdown of a couple weeks is manageable for big-budget films, however, independently financed films, which don’t qualify for insurance for COVID shutdowns, have a harder time dealing with the fallout.
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