The lag time between a hit movie and its subsequent reboot continues to shrink: Vulture has learned that Regency Enterprises, the mini-studio-within-a-studio at Fox, is moving ahead with developing a quasi-prequel to the 2005 Brad Pitt–Angelina Jolie hit Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which will be called Mr. and Mrs. Jones. And, much like the Spider-Man and Planet of the Apes reboots we’ve been telling you about, this one won’t feature its original stars.
In the 2005 movie that created the Brangelina phenomenon, the actors played an outwardly milquetoast married couple who had no idea they were both assassins hired by competing agencies to kill each other. Jones will serve as an origin story about a similar but differently named couple, showing how a pair of twentysomething spies are set up as a fake married couple when they graduate agency training. Oscar-winning writer/producer Akiva Goldsman (Hancock, I Am Legend) is attached to produce.
Our sources joked that one reason for the new cast might be that, at least if the tabloids are to be believed, the actual Mr. and Mrs. Jolie-Pitt might not be together long enough to complete a sequel. But the real reason is economic. One of the root rationales behind Hollywood’s reboot fever is that by ditching pricey talent but extending popular name-brand franchises, they get the best of both worlds: a title people know and like, with stars they can afford (i.e., Star Trek). Although a move like this has just as much chance of ending up Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd.