While the TV reboot of Mr & Mrs Smith is loosely based on the classic film of the same name, there were other inspirations for the series, and they're not what many people would expect.


The new show sees Donald Glover and Maya Erskine as the titular characters, who land jobs working for a spy agency - which leads to them having new identities in an arranged marriage and, as many stories go, them falling in love.

Speaking about her inspiration for the series, showrunner Francesca Sloane said it was reality TV programmes such as Married at First Sight, 90 Day Fiancé and Love Is Blind that influenced her when it came to creating Mr & Mrs Smith.

"Well, I wanna say that, oddly enough, the biggest inspirations for this show would be things like Scenes from a Marriage and Mikey and Nicky, Elaine May-type films," Sloane said.

"But more so, if I'm being totally real, Married at First Sight, 90 Day Fiancé and Love Is Blind. And part of that is just because it's this notion of people being really lonely and so desperately wanting an answer for companionship or the 'why' of their existence and their identity."

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As viewers will see throughout the series, John and Jane Smith's complex cover story becomes even more complicated when they catch feelings for each other, making the risk all the more great.

Sloane explained that "the strange, like, amorphous companies coming together and telling you here's your perfect person, here's where you'll live" is what became the idea for the show "in a lot of ways".

She added: "What we imagine is that John and Jane are these two very smart but very lonely people that almost anybody could relate to in some capacity, who have these big dreams of having something greater and being heroes in whatever way they define that. And so they are brought together in an arranged marriage."

While John and Jane focus on being good spies, the problem they face is love, which sees their job waiver "here and there because suddenly, things matter".

Donald Glover and Maya Erskine as they appear in Mr & Mrs Smith, looking a bit scruffy having just been in a fight
Donald Glover and Maya Erskine star in Mr & Mrs Smith. David Lee/Prime Video

Describing the ideas behind the characters, Sloane explained that John "feels like the leader".

"He sort of takes the lead in terms of telling them how they should navigate their mission," she said.

"But gradually, and then very quickly, Jane rises to the occasion, and actually sort of becomes a superior spy. And, in a lot of ways, Jane is actually our James Bond, and John in a lot of ways is our really badass Bond girl."

While the comparison to James Bond can be seen in the series due to the espionage, though, Sloane actually noted that the show aims to be "the antithesis of Bond" in other ways.

She explained that when created the series, they wanted to "lean into the perspective of the vulnerability of a relationship and kind of follow that in terms of being the antithesis of sort of a Bond-type film in terms of the way we normally see spies."

Mr & Mrs Smith premieres on Friday 2nd February on Prime Video. Sign up for a 30-day free trial of Prime Video and pay £8.99 a month after that.

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