‘Bel-Air’ Casts Lead Role — Watch Will Smith Surprise Jabari Banks With the News (VIDEO)

Jabari Banks, Will Smith in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Courtesy of Peacock; NBC Productions/courtesy Everett Collection

Peacock’s upcoming drama Bel-Air has found its Will Smith.

On the updated take on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, newcomer and West Philadelphia local Jabari Banks will be stepping into the role that Will Smith played in the ’90s sitcom— and Smith delivered the news to the young actor himself!

“This is Jabari Banks. In 10 seconds his whole life is about to change,” text at the beginning of the video reveals. Then Smith hops on a video cakk with Banks and tells him, “From the deepest parts of my heart, I want to say congratulations to you. You have the role of Will on Bel-Air.”

“I’m so ready,” says Banks, whose father had sent him an article about the series and thought he should do it. “This is a dream come true.” Watch the announcement below for more from Banks and Smith.

The reimagining is based on Morgan Cooper’s viral fan film, Bel-Air, and has already been picked up for two seasons. Set in modern-day America, the drama “leans into the original premise: Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air,” according to Peacock. “With a reimagined vision, Bel-Air will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases that were impossible to fully explore in a 30-minute sitcom format, while still delivering swagger and nods to the original show.”

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It's based on Morgan Cooper's reimagining on YouTube from 2019.

T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson serve as co-showrunners and executive producers. Cooper is director, co-writer, and executive producer. Smith, Terence Carter, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez, Malcolm Spellman, Quincy Jones, Benny Medina, and Andy and Susan Borowitz are also executive producers. Bel-Air is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, and Westbrook Studios, a division of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s media company Westbrook Inc.