IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

How Brad Pitt responded when Donald Glover asked for advice for new ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ show

The show puts a more relatable spin on the 2005 romantic action film.
/ Source: TODAY

There's a new Smith couple in town.

Prime Video's new show "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" puts a twist on the 2005 film of the same name by changing up how the couple at the center of the show first got together.

The biggest difference between the film and show aren't the characters — they're both spies, one goes by Jane, the other John — but rather their unique relationship.

In the 2005 film, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are two assassins who are unaware that their partner is anything other than a normal upstanding citizen. But in Maya Erskine and Donald Glover's iteration, their marriage begins as a farce and serves as a cover for them to carry out missions.

Glover revealed on “The Tonight Show” Jan. 31 that he reached out to Pitt about taking on the role of John Smith. But the “Fight Club” actor didn’t have much advice, Glover said.

“He kind of Brad Pitt-ed his way out of it,” he joked.

“He just kind of like, charmed his way, like, ‘Yeah, you know, you’ll do great,’” he added, quoting the actor.

Glover, who co-created the series with showrunner Francesca Sloane, watched the original film shortly before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. After seeing the movie, he wanted to explore the question of "why do people get married in the first place," he said on TODAY Jan. 30.

"There's so many other choices," he added, before responding to why he created the series.

"I don't think we figured it out," he said, with a laugh.

Here's everything to know about Prime Video's "Mr. and Mrs. Smith."

Donald Glover and Maya Erskine in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith."
Donald Glover and Maya Erskine in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith."David Lee / Prime Video

When does the ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ premiere?

All eight episodes of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" became available on Prime Video on Feb. 2. Each episode is approximately one hour long.

The episodes are titled after aspects of marriage, from "First Date" to "Do You Want Kids?"

Who stars in 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith'?

The 2024 Prime Video show stars Donald Glover as John Smith and Maya Erskine as Jane Smith. The characters are described as "two lonely strangers" in the first episode.

Glover's character is "emotionally unintelligent" and "competitive," while his other half, Erskine, is described as "numb and manipulative" and "secretive to a fault."

Both Glover and Erskine are married in real-life. The rapper and "Atlanta" star is married to Michelle White, and the couple shares three children. Erskine of "Pen15" is married to “Sky High” star Michael Angarano and shares a son with him.

During their appearance on TODAY, both stars said they tapped into their personal relationships to help them with their on-screen marriage.

"There's a lot of little bits in it that I was like, 'This is what me and my wife do,' and (Erskine) was like, 'Yeah, me and my husband —'"

"I'd argue, 'We talk about this,' or, 'This is a boundary we don't cross,'" Erskine continued. "Those things, I think they made their way into it."

When the show was first announced in 2021, "Fleabag" writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge was set to create and star in the Prime Video show with Glover. A few months later, Waller-Bridge left the project and later told Vanity Fair that it came down to "knowing when to leave the party."

“I worked on that show for six months fully in heart and mind and really cared about it—still care about it,” she said in a June 2023 article. “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.”

She then compared the collaboration to a marriage, nothing that "some marriages don’t work out.”

Why remake 2005's 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith'?

Glover first approached Sloane with the idea of a "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" remake with the goal of switching up the action film formula by "wholeheartedly focusing on the characters, on their relationship, on their marriage," Sloane said in an open letter defending the remake from early backlash.

2005's "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" stars Jolie and Pitt as spies working for rival agencies. They met and fell in love while each on a mission, but never disclosed their true professions to the other.

As their marriage gets rocky, they run into each other on competing assignments, botching the job for both of them. But after they're tasked with killing each other, they realize they might be falling back in love. In all, it's chock-full of action, witty rapport and of course, some passionate romantic scenes.

A photo of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith"
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in 2005's "Mr. and Mrs. Smith."Alamy Stock Photo

Glover describes the original as a "date movie."

"Like, boys vs. girls, it's a date movie," Glover said on "The Tonight Show." "I was like, 'Oh, let's just make a — maybe they know that each other are spies, and it's just a relationship — but with spies.'"

When adapting the story for a show, Glover and Sloane started with some "philosophical questions" that set up the key differences from the 2005 film.

"What would a series feel like if our heroes weren’t the two most beautiful people on the planet, but instead, were two lonely people, two underdogs, wanting more from life than what they currently had?" Sloane said in the open letter. "What if our John and Jane could be anyone, could be you and me?"

The first episode focuses less on big action sequences — though, there are still plenty of explosions and high-speed chases — and instead, devotes more screen-time to what Sloane called the "in-between moments," like an awkward exchanging of rings and banter-filled flirting over text.

Glover later revealed on "The Tonight Show" that he and Erskine didn't do a chemistry read together before filming — but that initial disconnect only added to what they were trying to do.

"She kind of just showed up, and I feel like the awkwardness in the first episode, which is supposed to be there, was right," he told host Jimmy Fallon.

But Erskine noted that she felt "pressure" following in the footsteps of Jolie.

"Like come on, she's like the sexiest —" Erskine told Fallon, before she was interrupted by applause. "You see?... she's unbeatable."

Overall, Erskine describes her and Glover's interpretations as the complete opposite of the original "Mr. and Mrs. Smith."

"It was so nice to have them say from the beginning that it was as if we were the reject versions of (Pitt and Jolie)," she told the Guardian. "And that’s always a happy, safe space for me.”