Is Don’t Worry Darling Based on a True Story?

‘Don’t Worry Darling’ is a psychological thriller film directed by Olivia Wilde. The film follows Alice and Jack Chambers, a young couple in the 1950s, living a seemingly perfect life in the utopian town of Victory, California. However, when Alice grows curious about the secretive nature of her husband’s job and his connection to the “Victory Project,” the couple’s life takes a drastic turn.

Given the vividly complex exploration of relationships in the movie, viewers must be wondering about the inspirations behind the story. If you wish to find out whether ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ is inspired by real events or true stories, here is everything we have gathered on the matter!

Is Don’t Worry Darling a True Story?

No, ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ is not based on a true story. The film is based on an original story written by Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke, and Katie Silberman. The latter also penned the screenplay, which Olivia Wilde helmed. The project originated as a speculative screenplay written by Carey Van Dyke and Shane Van Dyke. It appeared on the 2019 Black List, a list of the best speculative scripts submitted in a calendar year. However, Silberman was later added to the project as a screenwriter, while Van Dykes received a story by credit.

In an interview with Variety, director Olivia Wilde explained that she was looking for her next directorial project and wanted to dabble in science fiction to explore present socio-political issues. She came across the spec script and worked with Silberman to develop the project. The pair researched online misogyny and incel culture to explore relevant themes. Wilde also explained that her version of a utopia in the film is inspired by nostalgia for the world she’s grown up with, one that doesn’t serve women well. As a result, the film’s feminist themes are evident.

The movie’s premise revolves around the complex relationship between Alice and Jack, explored through sex and some fantasy elements. In the above-mentioned interview, Wilde explained the story’s focus on the sexual relationship between the two main characters. “It’s all about immediacy and (an) extreme passion for one another. The impractical nature of their sex speaks to their ferocious desire for one another,” Wilde said. “I think it’s integral to the story itself and how the audience is meant to connect to them. My early conversations with the cast were all about how the audience has to buy into the fantasy.”

Hence, Wilde’s words show that the story is rooted in human emotions despite the film’s surrealist approach to genre tropes of a relationship. As a result, the fantasy elements and the borderline surreal depiction of sex in the movie are believable. The film features the character of Frank (Chris Pine), an enigmatic businessman and the founder of the utopian town that Alice and Jack inhabit. The character is reportedly loosely inspired by psychologist and author Jordan Peterson. However, Peterson has refused to acknowledge the characterization.

Ultimately, ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ is a fictional and original story that explores several socio-political issues women face in the modern day. It takes a surrealist approach to examine a woman’s role in a complex relationship and depiction of sexual pleasure from a woman’s perspective. Moreover, the film also provides social commentary on modern-day misogynistic behavior, its propagation, and incel culture through several metaphors and allegories.

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