Get ready to head back to Bel-Air, as Will Smith is working on a The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air spin-off. Smith has been one of the biggest movie stars on the planet for more than two decades now, but he truly came onto everyone's radar through the hit 90s sitcom in question. Despite repeatedly casting doubt on any sort of reboot, something has changed Smith's tone and now, just such a project is in development.
This reveal came as part of a larger piece on Will Smith digging into his recent financial success in the business, between working with Netflix on Bright, taking on the role of Genie in Aladdin and other projects in his diverse portfolio. Part of that was starting a new cross-platform company, Westbrook Inc., which he runs with his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. In the report, it's noted that one of the projects Westbrook is currently working on is a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air spin-off. Unfortunately, for the time being, details on the show are tragically scarce.
In the piece, it categorizes Will Smith as still having a foot in the "traditional film and TV space," after discussing his other revenue streams and attempts to break into other forms of media. So, it's possible this is being pitched as a network sitcom, but that's just an inference at this point. There is no word on if any of the original stars would return, nor is it clear what the story would be. It's worth noting that Smith recently had filmmaker Morgan Cooper on his YouTube channel to discuss the trailer he made for a gritty, modern Bel-Air reboot that went viral. Perhaps Smith is going to pursue a similar avenue with the spin-off?
It's also worth mentioning that Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will be streaming exclusively on HBO Max after the service launches. They will need high-profile content to attract subscribers and a spin-off of a beloved 90s series produced by Will Smith is about as high-profile as it gets. But what changed Smith's tune about a reboot? While he didn't address it directly, Westbrook CEO Kosaku Yada had this to say.
"It has definitely been a creative rebirth for Will. He comes to the office and loves to see the social content people are working on. It's the closest thing to performing onstage because of the immediate feedback."
Launching this company has got Will Smith's creative juices flowing. Between that, and the prospect of a whole lot of money, it's possible that was enough to get him on board with the show. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air originally aired on NBC for six seasons from 1990 to 1996. The show is still syndicated around the world, which generates sizable royalties for Smith to this day. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.