Phoebe Waller-Bridge Replaced by ‘PEN15’ Star Maya Erskine in ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’
The news was confirmed by the show’s star and co-creator, Donald Glover, on Thursday, who told Interview magazine, “She’s dope. It’s exciting. I really love the show. I’m writing the finale now.” It was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter that Waller-Bridge had exited the series, with Glover citing “creative differences.”
Amazon picked up the project in February 2021, with Glover and Waller-Bridge on board as stars and co-creators. The pair had previously starred together in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Despite departing the show, the Fleabag star remains attached as a co-creator and executive producer. Glover’s frequent Atlanta collaborator Francesca Sloane also remains as co-creator, showrunner, and exec producer.
Glover signed an overall deal with Amazon last year, which will see him working on several projects. One of those projects is Hive, a series from Watchmen writer Janine Nabers that centers around a Beyoncé-like figure — it was previously reported that Malia Obama was hired as a writer on the series.
Erskine is best known for creating the critically adored PEN15 alongside her longtime friend Anna Konkle. The pair both starred in the series, playing versions of their 13-year-old selves alongside a cast of actual children. The series received high praise from critics and a pair of Emmy nominations. However, in what was a surprise to many fans, the show announced that the second season would be the last.
In addition to her work on PEN15, Erskine has also appeared in the Amazon series Betas, HBO comedy-drama Insecure, and Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. Next, she will be seen in Disney+’s Star Wars spinoff series Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith, TBA, Prime Video