Bad news for those of us who were really looking forward to seeing Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) team up with her Solo costar Donald Glover.
The duo was set to share the spotlight in a TV adaptation of Mr. and Mrs. Smith as married spies whose humdrum marriage gets a shot of adrenaline when they discover each other’s secret identities.
Even when she was merely providing a voiceover for the droid LE-E7 in Solo: A Star Wars Story opposite Donald Glover’s swaggering, surprisingly sensitive Lando Calrissian, these two had major chemistry.
Sadly, we won’t get a chance to see them square off–but why did Waller-Bridge decide to ditch the high-profile Amazon project?
It Was Always Glover’s Project
According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was Donald Glover’s idea to turn the 2005 film into a TV series as a vehicle for himself. He pitched the role of Jane Smith to Waller-Bridge, whom he became friends with on the set of Solo.
It seemed like a team-up for the ages… except that, like Glover, Waller-Bridge is in high demand and has a strong creative vision of her own.
We don’t know exactly what happened, but sometime in between announcing the Amazon series and today, Waller-Bridge decided to pull the ripcord and drop out of the project. Reportedly, she had a “difference creative vision” for the show.
We all know that Donald Glover is a creative force–have you seen Atlanta or his groundbreaking music video “This Is America” as Childish Gambino? However, Waller-Bridge is also an Emmy-winning creator and performer. Is this a case of too many cooks in the kitchen?
An Amicable Break-Up
Unlike the fiery characters they were set to portray, the split between Glover and Waller-Bridge is reportedly amicable and they remain friends. That’s a lot better than you can say for the last pair who took on these roles; Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s divorce still isn’t finalized!
Whatever the reason she decided to leave the project, Donald Glover is now in search of a new leading lady. The series was still in the writing stages, so it’s not like they filmed a pilot and then realized it just wasn’t going to work out.
Glover remains as the star, creator, and executive producer of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which is the first major project as part of his deal with Amazon to produce new content. He’s also working on the third and fourth seasons of Atlanta.
What’s Waller-Bridge Up To?
Don’t worry–Phoebe Waller-Bridge isn’t sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring. Coming off the massive success of her original series Fleabag, Waller-Bridge’s next major appearance will be in Indiana Jones 5.
Rumor has it that this might be a “passing the torch” film, with Harrison Ford handing over the franchise to her character. As long as Shia LeBeouf has nothing to do with this one, I’m willing to give Indy another chance after The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking that Waller-Bridge is “just” one of her generation’s brightest actresses. She’s also active behind the camera as well, wracking up writing and executive producing credits on big-name projects.
She was brought in to punch up the script for the new James Bond film, No Time to Die, reminding me of another Star Wars heroine whose talents extended from screen to screenplay. Carrie Fisher was an ace script doctor and screenwriter in Hollywood during the 80s and 90s–ironically enough, penning an episode of The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones among many other credits.
Waller-Bridge also developed the award-winning series Killing Eve, serving as a writer and executive producer even as she starred in her own series, Fleabag. This multitalented woman is busy and will likely only get more in demand as her star rises.