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Amazon’s much-talked-about reboot of the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt movie, Mr. and Mrs. Smith suffered a setback recently as Phoebe Waller-Bridge exited the project. The straight-to-series adaptation of the 2005 movie, which was slated to debut in 2022, now finds itself short of one leading actor.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge stands facing the camera in a black dress at the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge | Amy Sussman/WireImage

Whose idea was the reboot?

The Emmy-winning actor and writer, Donald Glover, reportedly, came up with the idea to revisit the movie and turn it into a series. Although, TVLine reported that Glover was not the first one. In 2007, ABC shot a pilot starring F9 actor Jordana Brewster and Martin Henderson that would reboot the action movie for TV. But it did not get picked up. 

The second time, Glover, the creator of FX’s Atlanta, came up with the idea and took it to Waller-Bridge. Both Glover and Waller-Bridge also agreed to be executive producers on the show. Francesca Sloane, Glover’s producer partner on Atlanta, also came on board as an executive producer for the series. 

It was seven months ago that Amazon announced the series, boasting about its “dream team” of Glover and Waller-Bridge to bring the story of the assassin couple paid to kill each other on Amazon. 

“Donald[Glover] and Phoebe[Waller-Bridge] 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,” Jennifer Salke, the Amazon Studios head had said during Glover and Waller-Bridge’s announcement.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith is an iconic property, and we can’t wait to see how Donald, Phoebe, and Francesca make it their own.”

But the process of collaborating on the adaptation of a movie as popular as Mr. and Mrs. Smith is not an easy task.

Why did Waller-Bridge leave the series?

The Fleabag creator quit the series because of creative differences. Reportedly, Waller-Bridge “had a different creative vision for the series” than her Solo: A Star Wars Story co-star Glover. 

Both Glover and Sloane still remain associated with the project in their originally slated capacities. The spot for Waller-Bridge’s role as one of the highly-trained assassins instructed to kill her husband is now open.

But with Waller-Bridge’s exit, the show has suffered a setback.

How will Waller-Bridge’s exit impact the show?

One of the good pieces of information with this news is that Waller Bridge’s exit is not said to have any impact on the production or premiere dates for the series. While Amazon Studios is looking to recast the role, no delay on its 2022 debut has been announced so far. The series, being written currently, is expected to begin production next year.

What is even better is the news that despite the failure to collaborate on the series together, Glover and Waller-Bridge, reportedly, still continue to be friends. Their personal relationship, reportedly, has not been impacted by the turn of events.

Though not a fruitful professional partnership this time around, with their friendship intact, hope for future collaboration between the two Emmy winners lives on. While who will be cast as Waller-Bridge’s replacement is yet to be announced, the field is now wide open for the others who might have been vying for the iconic Angelina Jolie part. 


‘Atlanta’: Donald Glover Took a Huge Risk Pitching the Original Show