Mr. & Mrs. Smith on Amazon Prime Video is everything I want in a witty, suspenseful TV show.
The series about two highly-trained assassins randomly paired together as a married couple features Donald Glover alongside Maya Erskine, and the on-screen chemistry of these legendary BIPOC series costars is refreshing.
If you remember, Donald is the creator and star of Atlanta.
Maya is a creator and star of PEN15.
Basically, them together in Mr. & Mrs. Smith is the perfect marriage of comedic genius.
But did you know that Phoebe Waller-Bridge was originally supposed to be part of the show? (gasp)
I'm absolutely obsessed with Fleabag, so the idea of Phoebe opposite Donald sounds incredible. Unfortunately, it didn't work in the end, and the series creators went their separate ways.
Donald and Phoebe, who both starred in Solo: A Star Wars Story, teamed up for a new project that would potentially bring together their creative genius in holy matrimony.
They were set as co-creators and stars of the straight-to-series adaptation of one of my all-time favorite films, 2005's Mr. & Mrs. Smith, starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
But, the series hit a snag when it was announced in 2021 that Phoebe was walking away from the project while Donald was staying on board.
Phoebe told Vanity Fair, “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," she said.
Now, Donald is sharing his side of the story, and it really sounds like a couple of parents trying to remain supportive of each other for their kids. In this case, the Prime Video series is the baby.
Speaking about Phoebe's exit from the series, Donald told THR, "It’s a divorce in a weird way. You’re like, 'Oh shit, this should have worked.' And this is just me, being honest, but I think a good relationship is one where you don’t waver from the extremely uncomfortable. And I don’t know if we were ever going to get to a place where we could be completely brutal to each other."
He continued, "It might’ve just been cultural. You’ve got to think, Fleabag was written entirely by her, they don’t really do writers rooms in the UK. And I look back at Atlanta, and we built a culture where we could say mean things to each other or be like, 'That idea is kind of [crap],' and then we’d laugh. You weren’t afraid to say something — but we also had the right to roast you. It’s just how we got the laughs."
"I don’t think we ever felt comfortable enough with each other. And that’s OK. That’s what happens when you’re two captains. It’s like, 'This is how I run my ship.' 'Well, this is how I run my ship.' And it’s such a big idea, this show, I don’t think it can have two captains," Donald said. "I mean, she rewrote the pilot, and I saw her script, and I was like, 'It’s definitely not my style,' but if she’d done it with her in it, we’d all be like, 'This is a great fucking show.'"
"It’s like a real divorce where the hardest part is knowing when to say it’s over. Like, when do you quit? Because you want to be cool, like, 'Oh it’s over, that’s fine.' But we both put a lot of work into it. We both were working really hard. So, who gets to keep the cat?"
While a Phoebe/Donald show didn't work out, at least we got a captivating Amazon series with Maya in the divorce.
Stream Mr. & Mrs. Smith on Amazon Prime Video.