Donald Glover and Maya Erskine are co-starring in a new Prime Video series based on the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but as they told Entertainment Weekly, they are not seeking to remake the 2005 film as much as they are attempting to reinvent it.
For his part, Glover, who created the series with Francesca Sloan of Atlanta and Fargo fame, wants to see audiences have a strong reaction to the new series, whether positive or negative. Since the new Mr. and Mrs. Smith takes a very different approach to the core idea of a married couple who are both spies, Glover would like to see audiences either feel the new version is better than the original or far worse, preferring those reactions over more moderate responses.
Mr. And Mrs. Smith Are Complete Strangers
It seems that Donald Glover would receive these sorts of reactions as confirmation that they have indeed taken big risks with the series. Even the central concept has been altered from a married couple who discover that they are not only both spies but members of different agencies who have been hired to kill each other. In the new series, the lead characters are a pair of strangers who sign on with a spy agency, only to find that they have been assigned new identities as a married couple.
A Relationship Forms
As the characters, played by Donald Glover and Maya Erskine, complete missions together, however, their supposedly fake marriage becomes ever more real over time. The nagging question, though, is whether their relationship is genuine or built entirely on falsehood. This deeper layer to the story was something Glover wanted from the original film but didn’t get.
Glover Isn’t A Fan Of The Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie Film
When Donald Glover finally saw the original movie, having been motivated to do so when his producer friend obtained the rights to the property, he did not connect with the material. To him, it was “just two gorgeous people in this situation” with a story he didn’t understand. He wanted to see more character development between the Smiths and begin thinking of a way to use the construct of a married couple who are both spies as a method of exploring the meaning of marriage in our contemporary world.
Deeper Themes Of Marriage
Seeking to do more than just a shiny action show, Donald Glover wanted to create something that would explore deeper themes of why people even get married in today’s world and the trust and teamwork involved in forging a marriage. He also said he wanted to explore why, in a time when people have such great abundance, they are also often so lonely. Loneliness is certainly the place where the main characters start in the series, which inspires them to sign up for the spy agency in the first place, but the series is a story of two people finding one another.
Mr. And Mrs. Smith Lands On Amazon Prime Video In February
While the spy aspects of the series were inspired in part by Mission: Impossible and Get Smart, Donald Glover is more interested in the relational stakes of the series than the stakes of the action-packed spy missions. For that side of the story, he drew inspiration from an unlikely source—The Golden Bachelor. His hope with the series is to create something more grounded and human, even as it continues to be an enjoyable spy story.
All eight episodes of Donald Glover’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith drop on Prime video on February 2, 2024.