A Brief History of Hollywood’s Messiest Press Tours


Don’t Worry Darling has but to hit theaters nationwide—however the turmoil surrounding its promotional tour has generated sufficient conjecture and controversy that it might present the meaty plot of its personal film sometime.

Olivia Wilde’s sophomore directorial effort, a psychological thriller starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles as a married couple in a utopian—or dystopian, because the case could also be—oasis within the desert has been plagued for months by rumors of behind-the-scenes friction, largely between Pugh and Wilde over numerous alleged points together with Wilde’s real-life romance with Styles; conflicting experiences about why unique main man Shia LaBeouf departed; and a Venice Film Festival premiere that turned everybody into body-language consultants in a single day.

It has all led to an ideal prerelease storm—one that might lure intrigued moviegoers, or tank the movie fully. This just isn’t the primary time {that a} publicity tour has been as charming because the film it helps. Join us as we glance again at some of Hollywood’s extra headline-making press excursions.

War of the Worlds (2005)

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“The…monthlong press tour for the [Tom] Cruise/Steven Spielberg blockbuster War of the Worlds could have benefited from a do-over,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter’s Seth Abramovitch in 2020. He was referring to a string of gaffes made by Cruise, who had fired his longtime publicist, Pat Kingsley, in March 2004, changing her along with his sister and fellow Scientologist Lee Anne DeVette. He would subsequently change her too.

The chaos started with Cruise boisterously declaring his adoration for brand new love Katie Holmes on Oprah’s sofa. Weeks later, he sparked outrage on Access Hollywood after calling Brooke Shields “irresponsible” for taking antidepressants to fight postpartum despair. (Cruise later apologized, and Shields attended his and Holmes’s 2006 marriage ceremony in Italy.) At the London premiere of Worlds, he was sprayed with water by a trick microphone, courtesy of a British prank present. Days later, Cruise sat down with Today’s Matt Lauer, who questioned him on Holmes, Shields, and Scientology, prompting the actor to angrily retort: “Matt. Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt. You’re glib.”

Despite having the third-highest-grossing film of the yr, Spielberg was reportedly dismayed by Cruise’s conduct, as was Media mogul Sumner Redstone, which performed a task in dismantling a long-term manufacturing deal between the actor and Paramount.

Two Lovers (2008)

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