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HomeEntertainment‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’s David Fleming Says Just One Word Became Foundation For Series’...

‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’s David Fleming Says Just One Word Became Foundation For Series’ Musical Theme – Sound & Screen TV

Patrick Hipes

Mr. & Mrs. Smith composer David Fleming joined Deadline’s Sound & Screen Television live-music event to discuss the nuances of creating the perfect spy score built on the foundation of trust. 

Prime Video’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith centers on two lonely strangers who land jobs working for a mysterious spy agency that offers them a glorious life of espionage, wealth, world travels and a dream brownstone in Manhattan. The catch: new identities in an arranged marriage as Mr. & Mrs. John and Jane Smith (played by Donald Glover and Maya Erskine). Now hitched, John and Jane navigate a high-risk mission every week while also facing a new relationship milestone. Their complex cover story becomes even more complicated when they catch real feelings for each other. What’s riskier, espionage or marriage? 

When sitting down with series creators Glover and Francesca Sloane, Fleming said Glover only really had one theme in mind for the musical composition: trust.

“That was the first thing he said,” Fleming said about how he translated that singular word into the series’ score. “I think it was a clue of what they wanted to focus on, which is about the relationship. It’s fun to have the spy mission and all of that, but it always goes back to their relationship and how they’re working with each other. So for me, it felt imperative to kind of make something that served both stories, because really, when you start a relationship there is an element of espionage and everything. It’s like how much do you show of yourself? And how much are you knowing about the person that you’re meeting for the first time?” 

Interestingly enough, Fleming did not really pull inspiration from the previous Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt film, scored by John Powell, to find his own musical center. Instead he looked to the likes of the James Bond cinematic universe — well, at least sort of.

“What [the series creator and director, Hiro Murai] wanted to do was very different. Their John and Jane Smith, Hiro said, they’re like C students in an AP Class, so that’s what we were locked into all the time,” explained Fleming. “So with the score, they didn’t want to do obvious versions of the big spy stuff. Francesca, really early on was like, what’s the art school version of this? So even sometimes when I wanted a big string section, they were like this sound is working for this John and Jane, this is not James Bond.”

Fleming added that Glover asked him that whatever he did with the music, just make it sound cool. “It was so much fun with those guys,” he said about working with the team. “Because it wasn’t just a liberty to go for it and be strange, it was sort of a mandate to be like, let’s just be weird, and let’s pretend this isn’t a giant TV show for Amazon, and let’s pretend that we’re making this with our friends in art school.”  

Check out the panel video above.

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