With rumblings of a reboot of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air swirling in the rumor mill, star Alfonso Ribeiro is now weighing in on the possibility. While Ribeiro says it's possible a new version of the show could be produced with all-new cast and characters, the actor says not to count on ever seeing Will and Carlton return in a revival series. "There's just no real reboot of that show without James Avery," Ribeiro stresses in a recent interview, labeling Uncle Phil the "core" of the show. As Avery passed away in 2013, a very important part of the original cast would be missing in any potential follow-up series.
In addition to the lack of Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro also feels the story of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has already been told, leaving nowhere else to go for the characters. "We stopped doing it because we felt like the show couldn't be better when we were doing it," Ribeiro points out. He adds: "You can't remake The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. That doesn't work to me. So, why? The past is the past, let it be."
First premiering on NBC in 1990, The original Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was created by Benny Madina and Jeff Pollack. Inspired by Madina's real-life upbringing, the show stars Will Smith as a fictionalized version of himself. As the iconic theme song of the series explains, Will moves in with his wealthy family in Bel-Air following a squabble in his West Philadelphia hometown. In addition to Smith, Ribeiro, and Avery, the series also starred Karyn Parsons, Tatyana M. Ali, and Joseph Marcell. The role of Phil's wife, Aunt Viv, was first portrayed by Janet Hubert-Whitten before the role was later recast with Daphne Maxwell Reid.
Of course, Ribeiro's character Carlton Banks has always been a fan favorite and one of the most well-remembered sitcom characters of all time. In particular, his "Carlton Dance" moves have been imitated all across the world for an untold amount of times over the past several decades. Controversially, the dance routine had even been included in the multiplayer video game Fortnite, though Ribeiro was not impressed. The actor had joined a lawsuit against the game's developer seeking damages for the inclusion of the dance, only to withdraw his claim once he discovered he was unable to copyright the moves.
Will Smith himself also spoke about the possibility of a reboot earlier this year. He was decidedly less dismissive than Ribeiro, admitting the cast was "thinking about it," but there hadn't been any discussions beyond that. Still, Smith echoes Ribeiro's sentiments about the series being as good as it could get back when it was ending, and trying to continue it now could sour something wonderful. "It was like a perfect 3-pointer at the end of the game. So I don't wanna go back and mess it up," the rapper-turned-actor said of a possible revival series. Clearly, the series leads aren't very confident about a revival being successful, so perhaps it's best to leave this one alone.
We may never see what Carlton Banks is up to these days, but we haven't seen the last of Ribeiro on television. The actor can these days be regularly be seen hosting shows like American's Funniest Home Videos and Unwrapped 2.0. You can watch his interview below, courtesy of HollywoodLife on YouTube.