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MR. AND MRS. SMITH

About The Production
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie star in MR. AND MRS. SMITH, a sexy action adventure, filled with globetrotting action, state-of-the-art special effects and incredible stunts. It's also a comedy with extraordinary characters having some ordinary problems.

What became a big-event motion picture had somewhat modest origins.

Screenwriter Simon Kinberg wrote the first draft of the screenplay for his Master's thesis at Columbia University Film School. "The idea came from my passion for Hong Kong action films," says Kinberg, who went on to write or co-write XXX: State of the Union and X-Men 3. "The Hong Kong action films were cool, sleek, sexy and kinetic, and all that became the impetus and framework for my original draft."

While Kinberg was brainstorming specific story ideas, he went to dinner with close friends who were experimenting with marriage therapy for the first time. "I was still trying to figure out the story," says Kinberg, "when my friends told me about their experiences in marriage counseling. It sounded like a kind of mercenary experience, which I felt could be grafted on the skin of an action movie."

With his first draft ready, Kinberg met with Akiva Goldsman, a noted screenwriter (he won the Oscar® for his adaptation of A Beautiful Mind) and producer. The screenplay's mix of action, adventure, romance, comedy and thrills impressed Goldman, who became a champion of the project.

"MR. AND MRS. SMITH is all about danger, sex and misunderstanding," says Goldsman. "Rather than the traditional romantic comedy grammar, we have lots of action and bombs. But the action is secondary to character. The story is about a married couple being forced to hunt down and kill each other – and that forces them to pay attention to each other for first time in years. Learning the truth about one another, John and Jane Smith fall in love all over again."

Goldsman and Kinberg shopped the script around, with little success at first. After Summit Entertainment and, eventually, Regency Enterprises, acquired the script, Brad Pitt came on board to star as John Smith. Before ‘Mrs. Smith' was cast, the producers and Pitt handpicked Doug Liman to direct. Liman had proven himself capable of handling edgy fare, with Go, and big-scale action-adventure, with The Bourne Identity.

Liman was intrigued by the opportunity to make a film that pointed out that being a top assassin is easy compared with the rigors of keeping a marriage afloat. "My previous film, The Bourne Identity, celebrated Jason Bourne's exceptional physical abilities," says Liman. "So I was excited MR. AND MRS. SMITH gave me the chance to make a film that said, ‘Big deal, so you're a highly-trained assassin. Try being married for six years; now that's really impressive!

"The film asks a question that is really fun to consider: How do assassins married to each other deal with their marital problems? Of course, the answer is, they try and kill each other."

Liman, Pitt and the producers had been working on the film for several months when it came time to cast Pitt's co-star. The role of Jane Smith necessitated a strong performer of equal talent. One of the industry's most sought-after actresses, Angelina Jolie juggles a calendar booked months, sometimes years, in advance. Along with her acting commitments, she manages a full time sched

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