Upcoming "Mr. And Mrs. Smith" Series Looks Like Another Diversity Reboot, And The Internet Isn't Happy

The beloved 2005 romance/action movie is being repurposed into a series on Amazon. Of course, the leads are minorities, and many people are even complaining that the new actors aren't attractive enough to fill the shoes of Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

By Gina Florio4 min read
mr mrs smith
Amazon Prime Video/Mr. And Mrs. Smith

Prime Video recently announced that the series Mr. and Mrs. Smith, starring Donald Glover, is set to premiere in 2024. The series is inspired by the 2005 blockbuster film of the same name that featured Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Mr. and Mrs. Smith became a cultural phenomenon for various reasons, including its action-packed sequences, romantic tension, and the palpable chemistry between its lead stars. Directed by Doug Liman, the movie centers on John and Jane Smith, a seemingly average suburban couple who are hiding a big secret: Both are deadly assassins employed by rival organizations. Their marriage faces the ultimate test when they're each assigned to eliminate the other, leading to a thrilling mix of action and romantic comedy.

One of the key factors contributing to the film's success was the off-screen relationship between Jolie and Pitt. At the time of the film's release, both were already A-list actors, but the rumors and eventual confirmation of their romantic involvement captivated global attention, significantly fueling the movie's box-office performance and media coverage. Known colloquially as Brangelina, their relationship became a tabloid fixture, and the speculation surrounding their off-screen chemistry undoubtedly boosted the film's allure, making it one of the highest-grossing films of the year.

Upcoming Mr. and Mrs. Smith Series Looks Like Another Diversity Reboot

In this new adaptation, Glover leads the cast, and he's joined by Maya Erskine, Michaela Coel, John Turturro, Paul Dano, Parker Posey, and Wagner Moura. Originally scheduled to debut in November 2023, the series had its premiere date pushed back due to the ongoing strikes affecting Hollywood. This delay is part of a broader industry trend, as other shows have also been forced to reschedule their initial airings, such as Max’s Rap Sh!t, which moved its premiere from August to November.

The plot revolves around John and Jane, a couple covertly matched by a mysterious agency to be partners both in espionage and matrimony. Each episode will present a new mission and relationship milestone for the duo. According to the official description, "When the cracks begin to show through, they must fight to stay together. Because in this marriage, divorce is not an option." This intriguing premise promises a blend of action and relational drama, exploring the complexities of a marriage under the most unusual and intense circumstances.

The series is inspired by the 2005 blockbuster film of the same.

Glover co-created the series with Francesca Sloane, who is also known for her work on the TV show Atlanta. Both Glover and Sloane will serve as executive producers, with Sloane taking on the role of showrunner. Additional executive producers include Yariv Milchan, Arnon Milchan, and Michael Schaefer from New Regency, as well as Stephen Glover, Anthony Katagas, Hiro Murai, and Nate Matteson. Notably, both Sloane and Glover are currently under overall deals at Amazon, which suggests a continued relationship with the platform and possibly more collaborative projects in the future.

The show's premiere delay and reshuffling align with the current volatile atmosphere in Hollywood, where labor strikes have led to disruptions in production schedules. Ongoing labor strikes by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the SAG-AFTRA actors' union have brought film and TV production to a standstill. Both unions demand fair contracts, but negotiations with the studios remain unresolved. Recently, thousands of striking writers and actors staged a solidarity march ending in a rally at Paramount Studios. SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher emphasized the significance of the strike, accusing industry executives of greed and calling for cultural change.

The WGA negotiating team suggested they might have more success negotiating individually with studios, breaking from the industry-wide approach led by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). However, AMPTP dismissed the idea, asserting that member companies are aligned in their negotiations. Union officials note that while some compromises have been made, such as limited protections against the use of artificial intelligence, the proposals don't go far enough to address their concerns.

Both the studios and unions have put forth their own versions of what a fair deal would look like, but an agreement remains elusive. While the studios highlight their offer as the largest pay bump for the WGA in 35 years, the unions are pushing for stronger protections and higher residuals, particularly from streaming services. With both sides unwilling to budge, the future remains uncertain, impacting not just the writers and actors but the broader industry as well.

Despite these challenges, the ensemble cast and the team of accomplished creators and producers of the upcoming Mr. and Mrs. Smith suggest that the series could be a major hit. Given the quality of their previous works, expectations are high for a show that promises to deliver both thrilling espionage adventures and emotional depth. However, the internet doesn't seem as excited about the prospect of this reboot.

"The original Mr. and Mrs. Smith alongside their counterparts for the upcoming woke Amazon TV reboot," commentator Rob Smith wrote on X. "I don’t mind diversity but the diversity hires need to be at least 70% of the attractiveness of the original. Didn’t hit that mark here."

People joked in the replies that the whole allure of Mr. and Mrs. Smith was that they were impossibly good-looking and sexy. It seems like the new cast doesn't quite live up to that hype. Additionally, people can't help but notice that the cast is yet another spread of diversity.

"TBH the creators don't care as long as they are not white," someone replied on X.

Although it's nothing new, it's still extremely annoying. Even the name Smith is traditionally correlated with white people, so it feels strange that they would somehow try to assign that name to minorities. Why can't they just create new stories?

In recent years, casting choices in film and television that diverge from historical racial backgrounds have ignited debates about representation and historical accuracy, often termed "woke blackwashing." In the 2018 movie Mary Queen of Scots, Gemma Chan, of Chinese descent, and Adrian Lester, a black actor, played historically white figures. Similarly, the Netflix series Bridgerton featured a racially diverse cast in a Regency England setting, including black actors Regé-Jean Page and Golda Rosheuvel in significant roles.

The 2020 musical Hamilton also drew attention for casting black and minority ethnic actors as America's Founding Fathers. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator, said the casting aimed to "pull the future into the past" and make history more relatable. A British miniseries, Anne Boleyn, took a similar approach by casting black actress Jodie Turner-Smith as Anne Boleyn, who was historically white. This casting choice was promoted as a fresh perspective on a familiar story. Moreover, historical figures like Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc, and Friar Tuck have also been portrayed by actors of color in various adaptations. Even in Netflix's Vikings: Valhalla, black characters appear, although there's no historical context supporting the idea of Vikings being black.

Obviously, Mr. and Mrs. Smith are fictional characters, but this diversity-driven reboot is just another example of how obsessed Hollywood is at rewriting beloved stories to fit the woke narrative and bow to the mob—even if it means they'll lose money in the meantime.

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