Film conventions have long stood as pillars of the motion picture industry, a safe space for filmmakers to show trailers of their movies to only positive reactions, or to compare their forthcoming comic book movie adaptation to a beloved 1970s classic in a way that makes no sense upon release. These conventions are a celebration of the art form, a joyful gathering of movie magic makers and lovers. Until Tuesday, that is, when Olivia Wilde was served with custody papers in the midst of her presentation at CinemaCon.
Wilde was at the convention to debut the trailer of her sophomore feature Don’t Worry Darling starring Florence Pugh and Wilde’s boyfriend Harry Styles. The film is both erotic and a thriller — though seemingly not an “erotic thriller” — about a marriage gone awry. Wilde was up on stage when someone approached and handed a mysterious manila envelope marked “personal and confidential” (now neither) with what Deadline has referred to as “Jason Sudeikis legal papers” (industry term).
Wilde shares two children with the Ted Lasso actor, from whom she split in 2020. Since then, both have kept their separation on the margins, though the internet has been far quicker to embrace the posi-mindset comedy actor more than the Booksmart director.
But credit where credit is due: it doesn’t seem too easy to serve a celebrity with papers. Where else was Wilde going to be found? On a yacht? In the Harry Styles Love on Tour floor pit? An industry convention is perhaps a humble legal employee’s best shot at getting up close and personal with talent. CinemaCon, not to be confused with Comic-Con, is not a fan-centric movie convention, but a gathering of the National Association of Theater Owners (“the other NATO”). Tasked with attending Wilde’s presentation, whoever served her needed the proper credentials to get into the presentation hall, meaning they needed to prove they were a member of NATO (the other NATO), perhaps disguised in theater owner costuming (whatever that looks like). It’s possible they also attended the Avatar 2 panel or got the news of a sequel to Robert Pattinson’s Batman. Maybe they stuck around to see new footage from Nope or Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris. Although a custody battle over two young children is hardly something to celebrate, hopefully whoever served Wilde with these papers came out of the event eager and excited for the year ahead in film.