‘Mister. And Mrs. Smith’s musical boss, David Fleming, on the theme of the series

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

main video‘s Mr and Mrs Smith centers on two lonely strangers who get jobs for a mysterious spy agency that offers them a glorious life of espionage, wealth, world travel, and a dream house in Manhattan. The problem: new identities in an arranged marriage as Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Smith (played by Donald Glover and Maya Erskine). Now married, John and Jane undertake a high-risk mission each week while also facing a new milestone in their relationship. Their complex cover story becomes even more complicated when they discover real feelings for each other. What is more risky, espionage or marriage?

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

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

Interestingly, Fleming wasn’t inspired by the previous Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt film, scored by John Powell, to find his own musical center. Instead, he looked toward the James Bond cinematic universe, well, at least sort of.

“That [the series creator and director, Hiro Murai] I wanted to do was very different. Their John and Jane Smith, Hiro said, are like C students in an AP class, so that’s what we were stuck on all the time,” Fleming explained. “So with the score, they didn’t want to do obvious versions of the big spy themes. Francesca, from the beginning you asked me: what is the art school version of this? So even sometimes when I wanted a big string section, they said this sound works for John and Jane, it’s not James Bond.”

Fleming added that Glover asked him to do whatever he did with the music, to make it sound good. “It was a lot of fun with those guys,” he said of working with the team. “Because it wasn’t just a freedom to do it and be weird, it was kind of a mandate to say, let’s be weird and pretend this isn’t a giant TV show for Amazon, and let’s pretend we’re doing this with our friends at school. art”.

Come back on Monday to watch the panel video.

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