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Details
Market July 29, 2019    Sold August 12, 2019
Director Olivia Wilde
Producer Katie Silberman, Roy Lee, Olivia Wilde
Agent Trevor Astbury (CAA)
Manager Aaron Kaplan, Josh Goldenberg (Kaplan/Perrone)
Production Vertigo Entertainment
Studio New Line
4-26-2020 - Cast signs on. Florence Pugh, Shia LaBeouf & Chris Pine. /// 8-12-2019 - Per Deadline, the bidding narrowed to 3 companies and Olivia Wilde has chosen New Line to finance and distribute. /// 7-31-2019 - Had 18 companies bidding on the spec package at one point, including Netflix, Legendary, Blumhouse, and FilmNation, MGM, Apple, and Village Roadshow.
Loglines
A psychological thriller about a 1950s housewife whose reality begins to crack, revealing a disturbing truth underneath. Described as a psychological thriller for the Time's Up era.
When a 1950s housewife discovers that she is living in a simulation run by sexist men, she can no longer trust anyone. She decides to rebel against the patriarchy and escape her simulated prison.
Not wanting to follow the societal norms of a typical 1950s housewife, a young woman tries to rebel from her picture perfect life only to learn that she is living in a simulation controlled by her husband.
A 1950s housewife who would rather go to medical school than become a mother discovers that her world is built on a lie and must escape her controlling husband.
Format
Genres
Drama, Historical, Sci-fi, Thriller, Period, Political, Conspiracy, Dark, Death, Escape, Female, Female Protagonist, Film, High Concept, Hostage, Husband/Wife, Kidnap, Marriage, Mental Illness, Murder, Psychodrama, Psychological Thriller, Relationship, Sex, Social Commentary, Suspenseful, Technology, Violence/Violent
Pages
95
Rated
R
Budget
High
Lead
F White 30 Attractive
Similar
"USS Callister," "The Stepford Wives," "Get Out," "The Matrix" "The Truman Show"
When
Mostly 1954, a few scenes in 2050. Spans a few weeks.
Where
About 75% in and around a generic upper-class suburb, including a Cape Cod house, another house, a grocery store, a motel, a Buick Skylark, a hospital, a highway, and a psychiatric ward. Around 25% in a futuristic 1950 house, including an MRI-like machine, a dark basement, and a man's room.

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Synopsis
A man cuts out viciously sexist 1950s ads. 1954. Picture-perfect EVELYN and CLIFFORD PETERSON (both 30) have sex. After, Evelyn uses a bottle of Lysol as contraception and makes Clifford breakfast. She tells him about a dream of being a doctor, but he ignores her. They go to a groundbreaking ceremony honoring Clifford for investing in a neighborhood expansion. Evelyn confesses to her neighbor BETSY (Adult) her concerns about having kids. Later that night, Evelyn tells Clifford that she wants to go to medical school right as he finds the Lysol and understands its purpose. They fight, almost violently, but then make up. The next day, Clifford goes to work while Evelyn does chores. She knocks over some orange juice, and when she goes to replace it, she sees Clifford sneaking into a motel. She follows him in…

...and wakes up in an MRI-like machine. She is connected to the machine with electrodes and is weak. She breaks out of the machine into a basement and sees a camera looking at her. Clifford comes and mentions an exit portal before plugging her back in. Back in her bedroom, Clifford tells her that she fainted. She tries to explain her experience, but...
Reader 1 Comments
OVERALL (STRONG RECOMMEND)
When a 1950s housewife discovers that she is living in a simulation run by sexist men, she can no longer trust anyone. She decides to rebel against the patriarchy and escape her simulated prison. The characters of “Don’t Worry Darling” are extremely well developed, active, and dynamic with each other. The conflicts escalate throughout the story and present the protagonist with difficult choices to make. The tone hits perfectly fits perfectly as a psychological thriller with great set-pieces. The dialogue is realistic and accurate of 1950s American suburbia and employs a great use of subtext. All in all, “Don’t Worry Darling” is a captivating, entreating story about a feminist underdog taking on the system that couldn’t come at a better time in the world today....
Reader 2 Comments
OVERALL (RECOMMEND)
Set in 1954, “Don’t Worry Darling” follows Evelyn, a seemingly typical housewife that is expected to have babies, clean the house and to always comply with her husband. The major conflict is that Evelyn is trapped within a simulation and it is very strong because it’s very multilayered. She’s trying to figure out what’s happening while going between her world and the year 2050 and trying to determine who she can trust. Her character is unique because she is a housewife that doesn’t want to fit within the mold, but beyond that, she is lacking identifiable weaknesses and fears that make her uniquely ill-suited to figure out her situation. The structure is very strong, with no missed beats and no lagging or dull moments making the story flowed very well. Overall, the originality of “Don’t Worry Darling” was very impressive. It’s a complex story mixing a lot of genres together, yet the logic never faded. “Don’t Worry Darling” is a very promising film that with the few adjustments to Evelyn, could create an extremely compelling and unique historical, sci fi, drama....
Reader 3 Comments
OVERALL (CONSIDER)
An oppressed housewife must escape her 1950s life when she discovers she is really a prisoner in a simulation in the future. Evelyn is a sympathetic and active protagonist who does everything in her power to fight her way out of her situation. However, her lack of a clear flaw means that her ultimate success, while satisfying, misses a personal catharsis. Because her relationship with Clifford never feels real, the emotional stakes that could come from the discovery of his betrayal are not fully realized. There is a strong external conflict as Evelyn fights to escape Clifford’s increasingly cruel restraints, but the internal conflict between her love for Clifford and her understanding of his cruelty could be made more explicit. There is more room for “Don’t Worry Darling” to explore the nuances of the way it marries gender relations and simulated reality to distinguish itself from films that have the same approach of relating technological development and oppression. The pacing is strong, with numerous surprises and mysteries maintaining constant tension and investing viewers in the outcome. The writing style has a funny, cynical voice that draws readers into Evelyn’s interiority....