‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Drama Reboot Gets 2-Season Order at Peacock
“We have just officially closed the deal with Peacock with an unprecedented two season order from a pitch,” Smith, who will serve as an executive producer on the new series, told co-writers Morgan Cooper (who put together the original trailer for the dramatic reimagining) and Chris Collins. “I’ve been in this business for 30 years, and that does not happen. They ordered two full seasons of Bel-Air based on the quality of the pitch and the work you guys have done. … I am hyped.”
According to the streaming service, the one-hour drama “leans into the original premise: Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air” and “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.”
Original story (8/11/2020):
In 2019, Morgan Cooper imagined the comedy starring Will Smith in the ’90s as a drama in a trailer on YouTube, and now that’s becoming a reality.
Smith and Cooper are working together on Bel-Air, a “dramatic reimagining” of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’s set to be produced by Smith’s Westbrook Studios and the original series’ Universal TV, and it’s being brought to streamers, including Peacock, Netflix, and HBO Max (where the original is currently available).
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air followed Smith’s Will for six seasons (1990-1996) as the street-smart teen moved from West Philadelphia to his wealthy uncle and aunt’s Bel Air mansion. It also starred James Avery (as Philip Banks), Alfonso Ribeiro (as Carlton Banks), Karyn Parsons (as Hilary Banks), Tatyana M. Ali (as Ashley Banks), Joseph Marcell (as Geoffrey Butler), and Janet Hubert-Whitten and Daphne Maxwell Reid (as Vivian Banks).
Smith, Quincy Jones, Benny Medina, and creators Andy and Susan Borowitz would all return as executive producers. Chris Collins would be showrunner and executive producer. Cooper would co-write with Collins and serve as director and a co-executive producer.
Watch the trailer for Cooper’s initial reimagining and Smith’s reaction to it below.