CASTING

Michaela Coel Will Return Post-I May Destroy You With Donald Glover’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Michaela Coel wearing a large black hat
Photographed by Tim Walker; styled by Sam Walker. Loro Piana turtleneck; Givenchy skirt and hat. Hair by Cyndia Harvey at Art Partner; makeup by Sam Bryant at Bryant Artists.

It came as devastating news when Phoebe Waller-Bridge dropped out of Donald Glover’s upcoming TV adaptation of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the 2005 film starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. But after some searching, it turns out that Glover will be teaming up with a fellow creator and actor behind some of the best of today’s TV after all: On Thursday, Variety broke the news that the cast now includes none other than Michaela Coel. The 34-year-old has kept a low profile since blowing up with I May Destroy You, the 2020 BBC series starring Coel as an up-and-coming writer reeling from a sexual assault that was inspired by Coel’s own trauma and experience.

To say that many have been awaiting the day that Coel resurfaces may be an understatement. The news that she had been cast in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sent Twitter into an absolute frenzy, and we’ve seen pretty much neither hide nor hair of her in the year since. (The franchise’s sequel is set to hit theaters on November 11.)

When it comes to the show’s casting, Glover is on a roll: Variety also reported that Coel will be joined by Paul Dano and John Turturro. And earlier this year, the Atlanta star and creator also made waves by enlisting Maya Erskine to reprise Jolie’s role as one of the titular spies who marry without realizing that they’re in the same line of work. The move came as a complete surprise: Whereas Jolie is a megawatt movie star, Erskine is most associated with her performance as a version of her hopelessly geeky teenage self in PEN15, the Hulu series she co-created with Anna Konkle. It’s starting to look like Mr. and Mrs. Smith the series will be just as a major as Mr. and Mrs. Smith the film (which we can credit with giving the world “Brangelina”).