The trailers for Olivia Wilde’s upcoming Don’t Worry Darling hint at a tantalizing mystery that could be real fun to watch unfold on the big screen. It has been described as:

“…an audacious, twisted, and visually stunning psychological thriller…”

It is directed by Olivia Wilde from a screenplay written by Katie Silberman, based on a story by Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke, and Silberman. The cast includes Florence Pugh, Harry Styles (Dunkirk), Gemma Chan (Eternals), KiKi Layne (The Old Guard), Chris Pine (All the Old Knives), and Wilde herself.

Whatever the mystery is, it seems from the trailers to centre on Chris Pine’s character.

According to Wilde, that character draws inspiration from a real-life figure and this is where things start to go a little wrong for Wilde. In an article with Maggie Gyllenhaal for Interview Magazine, Wilde said Pine’s character was inspired by Canadian author and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson.

“We based that character on this insane man, Jordan Peterson, who is this pseudo-intellectual hero to the incel community.”

The what community? She went on to define them as:

“…basically disenfranchised, mostly white men, who believe they are entitled to sex from women.”

Wow. There is a lot to unpack here! Where to start? Firstly I have a very simple rule regarding racially based identity barbs. If you were to replace the word “White” with something like “Asian” or “Black”, would that comment be taken by many people as racist? We know the answer to that.

Next, what is an “incel”? Well, I am a married man with two children in my mid-40s so I am not too familiar with this “incel community”. According to the internet:

“An incel is a member of an online subculture of people who define themselves as unable to get a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one.”

I have a few problems with this definition. Unless things have massively changed from my adventures in dating, there is somebody out there for everyone. If you are romantically bereft then you are either hanging out in the wrong places, or have your sights set way too high. Probably both. I have never met an incel. I have heard about them, but according to my observations they are like Bigfoot. Lots of people say it exists, but I have never seen it.

An “incel”, voluntarily fleeing from a feminist.

What I have seen are a large number of exasperated men who are thoroughly disengaged with modern women due to the impact of third-wave intersectional feminism. This is voluntary. I also see a large number of women who feel the same way about their sisterhood. So maybe these “incels” exist somewhere in these groupings? Wilde is convinced of their existence, and she says they have a leader:

“Jordan Peterson is someone that legitimizes certain aspects of their movement because he’s a former professor, he’s an author, he wears a suit, so they feel like this is a real philosophy that should be taken seriously.”

Again, I am not really that familiar with Jordan Peterson. I know who he is, and have seen interviews with him on television. He always seems to acquit himself very well and make well reasoned, intelligent points. I don’t seek out his videos online or own any of his books. From what I have seen, he seems to also have his doubts about third-wave intersectional feminism, but otherwise seems to tell young men to shape up and take control of their lives. How this qualifies him as some kind of evil mastermind of a nefarious movement with blue balls I am unclear. Petersen has hit back, and had this to say:

“Now, [Pine] has a reputation as quite an attractive man… so that could be worse. I also hope that Chris Pine at least does the sartorial splendour of my very formal public wardrobe justice as he pillories me in the latest bit of propaganda disseminated by the woke, self-righteous bores and bullies who now dominate Hollywood, and who insist on the production of such tripe.”

Researching this story, it appears there are more issues swirling around the people involved in this production. Rumors of a falling out between Wilde and her lead Florence Pugh were given a boost after it emerged that Pugh will take no part in publicity for the movie.


Wilde was already having to field some questions regarding claims she made about Shia LeBeouf and why he exited the production, with her version of events seemingly different to how others viewed things. She also arrived separately to the event for the movie at the Venice Film Festival to her current partner, star of the film Harry Styles.

This comes on top of the incident at Cinema-Con where she was served custody papers on behalf of her ex, Jason Sudekis.

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