Doug Liman played a belter by roping in Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a movie about two very alluring people who find themselves in a boring marriage. However, things change drastically and their romance intensifies when the couple learns that they are both assassins belonging to competing agencies and have to kill each other.
Their latest assignment leads to a passionate night after John and Jane refuse to shoot at each other. The ever-changing dynamic of their explosive romance became the biggest selling point of the movie, which made $487.3 million at the box office. Its TV adaptation is seemingly not taking that route which may prove to be a good decision.
How Donald Glover’s TV Show Found a Way to Make Adaptation of Brad Pitt’s Movie Work
When Prime Video unveiled the first poster for the Mr. & Mrs. Smith remake – which showed Donald Glover and Maya Erskine in a photo placed on a table with a kitchen knife marred in blood – fans were quick to remark how the pair appeared pale and swagger-less when compared to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who perhaps form the hottest couple Hollywood has ever seen.
It’s not really a dig at Glover or Erskine either. The attempt to find actors to slot into the archetypes from the movie which focused on Pitt and Jolie’s intense chemistry was always going to face questions from the fans of the original blockbuster.
Interestingly, the first trailer cleared that Prime Video’s series isn’t aiming to replicate what Pitt and Jolie did on the big screen, and instead, their take comes with its own spin.
The television show’s plot doesn’t start with the spies being married and going through a boring phase, meaning there’s no need for the romantic spark that Pitt and Jolie’s characters need to keep their marriage alive.
In this adaptation, Jane and John are two strangers who land jobs with a spy agency that offers them a life of espionage, wealth, and travel. But for all this, they have to adopt new identities in an arranged marriage.
Midway through the charade, they begin to develop feelings for each other, leading to more drama as well as comedy – a genre where both Glover and Erskine have excelled. Meanwhile, Jolie and Pitt were perfect for the more action-focused and intense version, having starred in plenty of action flicks at the time.
While this genius hack might work wonders for the show, it seems not everyone was on the table concerning the creative approach of the Glover-led story.
Who Was the First Choice to Play Jane in Donald Glover’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Before Maya Erskine, Phoebe Waller-Bridge was signed in to play Jane in Mr. & Mrs. Smith and even worked on the show for six months. However, she decided to exit the venture in 2021, with reports suggesting the Fleabag creator had a different creative vision for it.
Waller-Bridge later revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that she really cared about the project but sometimes it’s best to leave when things aren’t working. She explained:
“I worked on that show for six months fully in heart and mind and really cared about it — still care about it. And I know it’s gonna be brilliant. But sometimes it’s about knowing when to leave the party. You don’t want to get in the way of a vision. Creative collaboration is like a marriage, and some marriages don’t work out.”
Erskine took over the co-starring role in April of 2022. At the time of the decision, Glover was writing the finale for the show, which is scheduled to premiere on February 2, 2024.