Donald Glover and Phoebe Waller-Bridge each created and starred in two of the most acclaimed TV shows in the last decade in the form of Atlanta and Fleabag, respectively. Now, having struck up a friendship on the set of Solo: A Star Wars Story, the duo are teaming up to co-create and star in a new series – a reboot of the 2005 film Mr. & Mrs. Smith, which is in the works at Amazon.
The duo are co-creating the series alongside Francesca Sloane, who’s written for other shows such as Fargo and Seven Seconds.
The original Mr. & Mrs. Smith starred Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a pair of married assassins who have kept their secret identities from each other. Doug Liman (Edge Of Tomorrow) directed it, and it was written by Simon Kinberg (the X-Men series). There were vague plans for a reboot in 2010, but nothing came of them.
Glover and Waller-Bridge co-creating and starring in a project sounds wonderful, but the question remains: why reboot Mr. & Mrs. Smith? Why not have them create an original project, instead of tying them to another property? The 2005 film isn’t even particularly good, and is best remembered for the film that led to Pitt and Jolie eventually getting married.
It’s unlikely that Glover and Waller-Bridge will adhere too much to the original film anyway. They’ll probably just take the basic premise and be allowed to do whatever they want with it. In that case, why not just make an original show about married spies?
Amazon clearly thinks that the Mr. & Mrs. Smith brand is enough of a name to make the project a reboot instead, even though Glover and Waller-Bridge are far bigger names and way more popular than that film is. Fans would follow them no matter project they were involved in. But studios seem to like having built-in IP to fall back on, even if it’s not actually particularly popular.
“Talk about the dream team! Donald and Phoebe are two of the most talented creators and performers in the world. It’s truly a dream for us, as it will be for our global audience, to have these two forces of nature collaborating as a powerhouse creative team”, said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, in the official press release.
The show will probably be really good because Glover and Waller-Bridge are incredibly talented. It will be tough to follow up their other acclaimed shows, but if anyone can do it, it’s them. In a few years, it’s pretty likely that when people think of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the 2005 film will no longer be the first thing that comes to mind.