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Donald Glover, Maya Erskine Tease Return

SPOILER WARNING: This story discusses plot developments from “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” now streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video.

“You really want me to ruin this shit for you?” Donald Glover asked at an FYC panel on Tuesday, just hours after he and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” co-star Maya Erskine got grilled by Jimmy Kimmel about Variety‘s previous reporting that the stars were not expected to return.

The Season 1 finale of the spy romance ended with three muzzle flashes as John (Glover) and Jane Smith (Erskine) try to shoot their way out of being “finalized” by the spy organization that paired them up in the first place. The couple might’ve failed a few missions, but by this point in the show, they’ve finally succeeded at the most important thing — being vulnerable with one another. Too bad John is bleeding out on the floor, Jane has just one bullet left and there’s another Mr. and Mrs. Smith standing between them and freedom.

The cliffhanger ending aired in February, leaving fans wondering for months whether or not John and Jane made it out alive. In May, the show was renewed for a second season.

“The success of the first season, with its incredibly modern, sexy reinvention of the original film, is a testament to the brilliant creators Donald Glover and Francesca Sloane,” Amazon chief Jennifer Salke said at the time. “We are proud to bring you another season filled with unforgettable journeys and new adventures.”

But at the time, sources indicated that the new chapter would focus on different characters. (Glover — who’d recently announced a Childish Gambino world tour running from August through next February — would still be credited as a co-creator and executive producer on the series alongside Sloane, who also returns as showrunner.)

When Kimmel asked the two how “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” could continue without Mr. and Mrs. Smith on his show on Tuesday, Glover began to rebut, saying that to speak too much on the cliffhanger would be like spoiling a child’s surprise in the days leading up to Christmas. Kimmel playfully poked a hole in that logic: “No, it’s like Nov. 28th and the kids don’t know if Santa’s even coming.”

“It’ll be more fun if you see the second season. You know, you wanna wait,” Erskine teased instead, to which Kimmel replied: “Not if you’re not in it, it won’t be fun. It’d be the opposite of fun.” Glover chimed in again, hedging things a bit: “Who says we’re not in it? Maybe we are. Maybe we aren’t.”

Glover and Erskine faced the question again later that night during a lengthy Q&A moderated by Variety following a screening of the action-packed finale.

“Are we dead? That’s such a good question and, also, this is the right time to answer that, finally,” Glover began, with Erskine adding, “We’re going to spill it, tonight.”

Then, Glover cracked: “I’m just kidding, we’re not going to answer that.” The crowd — which included a special appearance by Amazon boss Salke — burst into laughter at Glover’s fake-out. “I feel bad, because you were like ‘Yeah, do it,’ but nope. We worked really hard on that ending,” he said.

“I feel that that is the sign that the ending was good,” Glover continued, sharing that he’s been getting stopped on the street by people asking the same question ever since the finale aired. “It’s crazy being on Amazon and people from everywhere have seen you — ‘Atlanta’ and ‘Community’ were kind of niche and this was the first time it was a big swath of people — and everyone asks us that. We worked really hard on making people not know, because it’s a good story. … If we told you exactly what was happening, it would just ruin it. It feels exactly like ‘This is America’ [his 2018 smash hit song]. People were like ‘What does it mean?’ I was like, ‘You really want me to just ruin this shit for you?’ We don’t have to ruin it. Just watch Season 2.”

Erskine concurred, explaining that not knowing how things end might make next season’s premiere feel more exciting. “It would be fun if it was an event, like when we’d watch ‘The Sopranos’ every Sunday. … That will be exciting to find out what happens.” (And to Erskine’s point, the ending of “The Sopranos” is a cliffhanger — and one that Glover describes as “the best ending of all time.”)

Despite the two stars playing coy, here’s what Variety has learned: we haven’t seen the last of Glover and Erskine as John and Jane Smith and the writers room is underway for season 2. While the conceit of the show indicates an unlimited number of pairings of Smith couples, think of those as a red herring because this a continuing drama series, not an anthology, so stay tuned.

Maya Erskine, Amazon’s Jennifer Salke, Francesca Sloane and Donald Glover
Eric Charbonneau/Getty Images for Amazon

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