The Fresh Prince is heading back to Bel-Air, but it stands to look quite a bit different than the ’90s TV comedy that catapulted Will Smith into stardom.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Smith is developing a new “dramatic” reimagining of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alongside Kansas City filmmaker Morgan Cooper. Smith personally sought out Cooper after seeing his 2019 spoof trailer for “Bel-Air”, which reimagined The Fresh Prince in modern, albeit dramatic light.
Update – September 8th: The series has received a two-season order from Peacock, according to Will Smith. The first season is slated to debut in 2021.
Smith and Cooper have been working on the project for more than a year, and are
currently shopping it to a number of potential bidders, including Netflix, Peacock, and HBO Max. Logic suggests HBO Max would be the most interested party, as it is already home to the original Fresh Prince series. However, in recent months, Netflix has made a serious push to expand its Black programming.
The plan is for Cooper to co-write and direct the series, and serve as an executive producer alongside Smith. Chris Collins (The Wire, Crash, Sons of Anarchy) is on board as showrunner and co-writer.
Meanwhile, the original cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will soon reunite for an unscripted special in celebration of the show’s 30th anniversary. You’ll need HBO Max to view that one.
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18 months ago, a young filmmaker from Kansas City @cooperfilms uploaded a video on YouTube reimagining The @freshprince of Bel-Air for present day as a DRAMA! Everybody sent it to me. It was outstanding. I had NEVER envisioned revisiting the Banks family in this way. We knew this was special, so we called @ryokanproductions and asked him to lead the team (he wrote on The Wire) and he said YES! Months of writing, developing and pitching… and now it’s happening. “Bel-Air” got a TWO SEASON order, debuting in 2021 on @nbc’s streaming service @peacocktv. Morgan Cooper and Chris Collins, you are THE TRUTH!! 📹: @westbrook