Donald Glover’s reinterpretation of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is on the horizon. Glover adapted the 2005 film about spies-turned-lovers, which famously resulted in the marriage of co-stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, for Amazon Prime, where he has a development deal (his last project for the streamer was the Dominique Fishback-starring Swarm). Glover will play Mr. Smith and has cast Maya Erskine as his costar.
The series will reportedly have a very different tone from the original action flick, with Hiro Murai (who directed Glover’s critically-acclaimed “This Is America” video) helming the first two episodes. Like the film, the series centers around two spies who get married without knowing that they share the same line of work—and an assignment to kill each other. Here, the answers to all your questions about the show.
Who will be taking over from Angelina Jolie as Mrs. Smith?
Originally, Fleagbag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge was meant to take on the role, but she departed the project following “classic creative differences,” according to Glover. She was replaced by Maya Erskin, an actor most associated with wearing braces in a portrayal of her painfully awkward teenage self in the beloved Hulu series PEN15.
The past few years have proven that Erskine more than capable to step into the leading lady role. Since PEN15, she’s joined Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph in Amy Poehler’s directorial debut, Wine Country, and Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen in the Disney+ miniseries Obi-Wan Kenobi. A voice role in the YA adventure film Wildwood, costarring Carey Mulligan and Awkwafina, is also in store. And lastly, she’s currently developing Leïla Slimani’s bestselling novel The Perfect Nanny for HBO, in which she’ll co-star alongside Nicole Kidman.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Erskine joked, “A lot of people would say that I’m just like Angelina Jolie and that we’re really similar. No, I’m kidding. I obviously couldn’t be further from her. I tend to play characters that feel like rejects of society, and my Jane felt like it was the reject version of Angelina Jolie. It wouldn’t ever be her. It could never be.”
What is the plot of Mr. and Mrs. Smith?
Per an official series description, in this version of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, two lonely strangers land jobs working for a mysterious spy agency that offers them a glorious life of espionage, wealth, world travels, and a dream brownstone in Manhattan. The catch? New identities in an arranged marriage as Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Smith. Now hitched, John and Jane navigate a high-risk mission every week while also facing a new relationship milestone. Their complex cover story becomes even more complicated when they catch real feelings for each other. What’s riskier: espionage or marriage?
In an interview with EW, Glover said he’ll be happy with any audience reaction, as long as it’s strong. “It’s definitely going to be different for a lot of people, which I think is good,” he said. “You can always go back and watch the old one, but this one gives you a different feeling. People are definitely going to be shocked. I just know how much people love the other one, so if everybody’s like, ‘Eh,’ we didn’t do a good job. I hope some people are like, ‘This is better than the original,’ and some people are like, ‘This is far worse.'”
He added that he had never seen the original film before considering adapting the project. After watching the 2005 film, he found the marriage at the center of the film the most interesting part to explore.
“Why do people even get married anymore? Half of it ends in divorce — what’s the purpose?” Glover said. “Let’s make a show dealing with relationships, but from this point of view, centering more on really what a marriage is and trust and teamwork and loneliness and all that stuff. I just wanted it to be something that spoke to people right now because in a time of abundance, why do we feel lonely? The movie wasn’t about that.”
Is there a trailer for Mr. and Mrs. Smith?
On July 13, 2023, a very brief teaser was released for the series. The clip shows Glover and Erskine running from danger and explosions. “Have you ever killed anyone?” Glover asks Erskine. “Do I look like I have?” she responds before a scene of her loading up a gun. “This marriage is up to a great start,” he quips.
Are we really finally getting more Michaela Coel?
The series really must be promising, because it’s one of only two projects that Michaela Coel has signed on to since becoming the darling of the industry with I May Destroy You, the 2020 BBC series based on Coel’s past experiences with trauma and assault. No word yet on who she’s playing, but we wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up being your favorite character.
Who else is in the cast of Mr. and Mrs. Smith?
Last September, Variety reported that Glover has recruited Parker Posey to star in what will no doubt be her second hit TV show within less than two years. Narcos star Wagner Moura has also come on board, joining previously announced stars Paul Dano and John Turturro. Details about their roles have yet to be released.
When will the series hit Amazon?
All eight episodes of Mr. and Mrs. Smith will release on Prime Video on February 2, 2024. The release date was pushed back from its initially scheduled November debut due to the Hollywood strikes.
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