Here’s Why Phoebe Waller-Bridge Dropped Out Of Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Here’s Why Phoebe Waller-Bridge Dropped Out Of Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Image credit: BBC, Amazon Prime Video

The only real case of creative differences.


  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith is an Amazon Prime Video spy comedy show that premiered on February 2.
  • Co-created by Donald Glover and Francesca Sloane, the show was to be co-written with Phoebe Waller Bridge before she dropped out.
  • Donald Glover believes the two had conflicting approaches to the work.

When someone we all know and love drops out of the upcoming production with little to no explanation, our minds always go straight to the worst-case scenario. Even though the excuse of "creative differences" is pretty self-explanatory, it has been used too many times to hide a deeper conflict for anyone to believe it.

When it was announced that Phoebe Waller-Bridge, known for her iconic series Fleabag and the amazing work she did on the first season of Killing Eve, was leaving the production of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, which she was set to work on with Donald Glover, many were saddened by the news.

Not only did it mean that the show was losing a talented writer, but it also meant the end of a creative collaboration that many people were really looking forward to.

Now that the show is finished and out there for everyone to see, Glover is finally ready to share his perspective on what happened. And the "creative differences" explanation is the most fitting for this story.

Did Phoebe Waller-Bridge Leave Mr. & Mrs. Smith?

Here’s Why Phoebe Waller-Bridge Dropped Out Of Mr. & Mrs. Smith - image 1

The mastermind and star of Fleabag was attached to the Prime Video spy comedy from the beginning, along with Donald Glover, known to viewers from Community and Atlanta. Many believed that the brilliant comedic style of these two creators would lead the show to success, but soon enough Waller-Bridge stepped out of production.

The show was scheduled to premiere in 2022, but with Waller-Bridge's departure, the team faced more difficulties to overcome. Eventually, her place as co-creator was taken by Francesca Sloane, who was attached to the project as a showrunner, and the on-screen role of Mrs. Smith was given to Maya Erskine.

Here’s Why Phoebe Waller-Bridge Dropped Out Of Mr. & Mrs. Smith - image 2

Reflecting on what went wrong during his collaboration with Waller-Bridge, Glover told The Hollywood Reporter:

“It’s a divorce in a weird way. You’re like, “Oh sh*t, this should have worked.” <...> I don’t think we ever felt comfortable enough with each other. And that’s OK. That’s what happens when you’re two captains. It’s like, “This is how I run my ship.” “Well, this is how I run my ship.” And it’s such a big idea, this show, I don’t think it can have two captains.”

Glover also pointed out that this may simply be a case of cultural differences between U.S. and U.K. productions. While the writers' rooms on U.S. shows are always vocal with their opinions, U.K. writers tend to take on all the work themselves, which can make it harder to negotiate.

Fortunately, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Donald Glover's creative "divorce" didn't lead to any drama. And Mr. & Mrs. Smith still got to air in its newfound form on Prime Video. Be sure to catch up if you haven't already!

Source: The Hollywood Reporter