The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is the next classic sitcom to get the reboot treatment, as a darker adaptation of the comedy series is in the works. Reportedly, the new series is directly inspired by the viral Bel-Air concept trailer that was released online in March 2019 by filmmaker and Fresh Prince fan Morgan Cooper. The project has also reportedly been in development for over a year, with original star Will Smith teaming up with Cooper to create the full series adaptation.
Bel-Air is a co-production between Will Smith's Westbrook Studios and Universal TV. Cooper is set to direct and co-write the script for the reboot series. Chris Collins (Sons of Anarchy) is also on board to serve as showrunner and will be co-writing the script with Cooper. Cooper and Collins will also serve as executive producers alongside Smith and original series producers Quincy Jones, Benny Medina, and creators Andy and Susan Borowitz. Miguel Melendez and Terence Carter of Smith's Westbrook Studios will also executive produce.
One of the most popular sitcoms of the '90s, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air originally aired for six seasons between 1990 and 1996. The series starred Smith as a West Philadelphia-born teenager who's sent by his mother to live with wealthy relatives in Bel Air following a violent confrontation at a basketball game. Just as famous as the series itself is its opening theme song, with its highly-quotable lyrics performed by Smith. In addition to Smith in the lead role, the hit series also starred James Avery, Janet Hubert-Whitten (and later Daphne Maxwell Reid), Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana M. Ali, and Joseph Marcell.
The new Bel-Air is described as a "dramatic take" on the classic comedy series, as presented in the viral YouTube video created by Cooper. In the mock trailer, teenage Will has a similar origin story, though it's much darker. It begins with the police finding a handgun on Will after his "one little fight" at the basketball court, resulting in his relocation to Bel Air. The rest of the story is reminiscent of the sitcom, as Will struggles to fit into his new environment, although it's certainly much more gritty. As of now, it's not clear if any of the same actors featured in the YouTube trailer will be playing the same roles in the upcoming reboot. If you haven't seen the video, you can take a look at it below.
Bel-Air is currently in the process of being shopped around to various networks and streaming services, and a home has not yet been chosen for the upcoming reboot. As of now, HBO Max is the streaming home of the original Fresh Prince of Bel-Air series, and along with other streamers like Peacock and Netflix, the streaming service is reportedly interested in picking up the series. Wherever it winds up, chances are there will be a lot of people watching, as the viral YouTube video has racked up over two million views. The original YouTube trailer for the reboot is certainly amusing, so the potential for Bel-Air to be a big success is certainly there. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.