Mr & Mrs Smith, the series, will premiere on Prime on February 2. Donald Glover and Maya Erskine were in London yesterday at the premiere to kick off the press tour.
Can you believe it’s been 19 years since the press tour for the original? The original, of course, is the film by the same name, starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, that was the genesis of one of the biggest gossip stories of the modern era. But this is not a post about that relationship and the mess that became of it.
We’re here to talk about the IP, Mr & Mrs Smith – because independent of the cultural supernova that we would eventually call Brange, it was a good movie. I still love that movie. And it’s a movie that increases in appreciation in hindsight because look what has happened in the years that have passed, with Hollywood trying and failing more often than not, to cast two major movie stars in blockbuster projects that inevitably fall flat.
That’s not what happened with Mr & Mrs Smith. They delivered on that potential, we saw how those two popped onscreen. It was believable when they were adversaries and it was believable when they became lovers, and most importantly, it was believable when they were at work. At the heart of Mr & Mrs Smith is a story about two people who are great, the best, at their jobs.
Which brings us to the new series. Smart, I think, for them to tweak the story so that it’s now about two people who are playing at being married and doing spy-assassin sh-t together. It would be too much to have to live up to being exactly the same as what we already know – those are huge shoes to fill, so they’re taking off with the seed of the idea and growing into something different, something perhaps more nuanced. That said, as Sarah wrote last month when the teaser dropped, the vibes weren’t really vibing between the new John and Jane Smith – which, of course, is critical for this to work. It looked fine… but it also felt a little flat.
The full trailer that came out last week, however, was a lot more promising. The comedy is there. The supporting cast (and it is a CAST! Parker Posey, Ron Perlman, Sarah Paulson, and more) is filling in some gaps. And the tone and energy are more inline with 2024 than what worked in the mid-2000s. All of this on top of Donald and company’s track record is getting me a lot more optimistic than I was a few weeks ago.