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PEN15 favorite Maya Erskine has replaced Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Amazon’s update of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, star and co-creator Donald Glover revealed Thursday.
“She’s dope. It’s exciting. I really love the show. I’m writing the finale now,” Glover said in an interview for Interview magazine in which he reiterated The Hollywood Reporter’s previous reporting that Waller-Bridge exited the role following “creative differences.”
Picked up straight to series in February 2021, the reboot of the 2005 New Regency film starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie is created by Glover and Waller-Bridge. The Fleabag Emmy winner remains involved as co-creator and exec producer. As THR exclusively revealed in September, Waller-Bridge departed the starring role after having a different creative vision for the show than Glover. The parting was amicable, and as Glover said Thursday, “I still like her. I assume she still likes me.”
Glover came up with the idea and brought it to his friend and Solo: A Star Wars Story co-star. Francesca Sloane, a collaborator with Glover on FX’s Atlanta, remains co-creator, showrunner and exec producer on the series via her overall deal with Amazon. Yariv Milchan and Michael Schaefer from New Regency — the shingle behind the 2005 film — also exec produce.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith stems from an overall deal that Glover signed with Amazon last year. Under the deal, Glover is also working on Hive, a potential series that is rumored to revolve around a Beyoncé-like figure and stem from writer Janine Nabers (Watchmen, Away). The project has already begun staffing a writers room, with sources noting earlier this year that Malia Obama was among those recruited to work on the series.
Erskine, meanwhile, stunned industry observers in November with the news that her Hulu critical favorite PEN15 was ending with its second season. Erskine and longtime friend Anna Konkle created and starred in the series, with both playing 13-year-old versions of themselves in the comedy that was produced by the Lonely Island and Awesomeness TV. The comedy was picked up straight to series after Hulu saw a hilarious 15-minute presentation of the duo filmed alongside former co-showrunner Sam Zvibleman. The series earned Emmy nominations for outstanding comedy series and a pair for writing. The comedy currently has an impressive 97 percent rating among critics and 87 percent score among viewers on RottenTomatoes.com.
Erskine can next be seen in the Disney+ Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi. She’s repped by Gersh, Mosaic and Hansen Jacobson.
Amazon did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
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