Donald Glover reveals the truth about Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s exit from ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ series on Prime Video

LOS ANGELES, California – Actor Donald Glover revealed the reason why Phoebe Waller-Bridge left the Prime Video series “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” based on the 2005 movie. Waller-Bridge was originally set to co-write and co-star in the show, which premiered on Feb. 2, but she was eventually replaced by “Pen15” star Maya Erskine.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Glover explained that the decision for Waller-Bridge to exit the show was due to creative differences and the inability to establish a comfortable working relationship. Glover, known for his hit FX series “Atlanta,” expressed that the cultural differences in television production, particularly between the UK and the US, may have contributed to their conflicting visions for the series.

The adaptation of “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” follows the story of two married spies, John and Jane Smith, and Glover had initially signed on Waller-Bridge as a co-writer and co-star after their successful collaboration on “Solo: A Star Wars Film.” However, Waller-Bridge’s departure in September 2021 was the result of a “different creative vision” for the series.

Glover also shared insights into the difference in the television writing process in the UK, where “Fleabag” was entirely written by Waller-Bridge, in contrast to the collaborative writers’ room environment in the US. The actor and creator expressed that the cultural divide might have played a role in their inability to reconcile their creative approaches.

The process of developing the show seemed to have disagreements from the start, with Glover revealing that they both had different ways of running their respective “ships,” resulting in a significant clash of creative control. He also added that the presence of co-creator Francesca Sloane and Erskine’s involvement ultimately contributed to the show’s development in a different direction.

Erskine, while hired only as an actress for the series, still felt the lingering impact of Waller-Bridge’s influence, particularly in some lines that were left unchanged in the script. Despite the challenges, Glover expressed optimism and stated that he would have supported Waller-Bridge had the series felt more like her own creation.

“Mr. & Mrs. Smith” premiered on Prime Video on Feb. 2, featuring a star-studded lineup of guest appearances including Alexander Skarsgard, Sharon Horgan, Paul Dano, John Turturro, Sarah Paulson, and Parker Posey.

Overall, the departure of Waller-Bridge from the show seemed to be the result of insurmountable creative differences, ultimately leading to a change in direction for the series.