Film student Simon Kinberg sends a seven-page outline about a couple of married spies to writer-producer Akiva Goldsman.
Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton tie the knot May 5 in Vegas. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston throw a $1 million Malibu wedding on July 29.
Kinberg delivers a first-draft screenplay to Summit Entertainment. He’ll eventually deliver over 100 more versions. August 2001 Jolie is appointed a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Fox-based Regency Pictures agrees to finance Smith.
Jolie and Thornton adopt a Cambodian baby. He’s given the name Maddox — and a Mohawk.
John Woo kicks the tires to direct. Nicole Kidman begins circling to play Mrs. Smith.
Jolie files for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. (The problem of that ”Billy Bob” tattoo can be resolved.)
Pitt joins Kidman in negotiations to star in Smith, with Doug Liman likely to direct.
Kidman drops out due to long Stepford Wives shoot. Jolie signs on as Pitt’s costar. He’ll start after Troy, she after Alexander.
Filming begins in Los Angeles. Liman is ecstatic over his stars’ chemistry, but as time goes on, the schedule slips.
Late April 2004
With a good third of Smith still to be shot, Pitt leaves for Chicago to begin work on Ocean’s Twelve.
May 3, 2004
Rumors of Jolie and Pitt’s ”growing intimacy” on and off the Smith set are suddenly an Us Weekly ”Hot Topic” and a Star cover story.
May 10, 2004
Pitt and Aniston attend the Troy premiere in New York and dispel speculation of a Pitt-Jolie affair.
July 12, 2004
Ocean’s Twelve wraps.
Filming on Smith resumes in L.A. and, later, Italy. Paparazzi snap the stars looking smitten. They’re in character, says the film troupe.
Dec. 27, 2004 - Jan. 8, 2005
Pitt and Aniston vacation in Anguilla.
Jan. 7, 2005
Pitt and Aniston announce they are separating. Entire forests are felled to print magazines heralding the news.
During nine days of Smith reshoots outside L.A., paparazzi swarm but can’t get shots because the stars’ trailers are inside the set.
March 17, 2005
Between reshoots, Pitt and Jolie appear at ShoWest to promote the movie. Hours after they leave, Aniston arrives to receive an award.
March 25, 2005
Aniston files for divorce; that same weekend Pitt and Jolie stay at the Parker Palm Springs (separately) during a photo shoot promoting Smith.
April 19, 2005
Pitt and Jolie vacation in Kenya’s Diani Beach with Jolie’s 3-year-old son, Maddox.
April 30, 2005
According to PEOPLE, Pitt flies to London to pick up Jolie; the two jet off to Morocco, where Pitt is shooting Babel, and dine together in Pitt’s suite.
June 7, 2005
Smith will have its premiere in L.A. Will the stars attend? That’s classified.