The first trailer for the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot, Bel Air, just dropped and it is promising a gritty reimagining of the original. In 2019, filmmaker Morgan Cooper created a three minute trailer that showed The Fresh Prince as a drama. Will Smith loved it so much that he offered to produce the show and shop it around. The Peacock Network picked it up last year for two seasons. Bel Air’s first episode will be released on February 13 and will star Jabari Banks in the lead role. This project will be Jabari’s first major acting gig out of theater school. Below are a few more details from Entertainment Weekly and the trailer is below.
“You can have this Black family that has struggles, but you never doubt that they love each other — and that there can be conflict that’s organic without being too sensational or dark,” co-showrunner Rasheed Newson recently told EW. “We’re speaking to the moment now, much like the original series did. Young audiences will see in Will and Carlton and Hilary reflections of some of their own clashes with their parents. Each generation has to rewrite the rules.”
Taking over the role of Will Smith from, well, Will Smith, is newcomer Jabari Banks, who comes in with minimal professional acting experience, having booked the role fresh out of theater school. That initially prompted conversations about whether such a high-profile property should be put on the shoulders of a newcomer — but Banks couldn’t be denied.
“His charisma and his spark just radiated off of him,” co-showrunner T.J. Brady declared to EW. “Upon viewing the first cut of the pilot, every single person has said, ‘You guys found a star.’”
[From Entertainment Weekly]
I am so excited about Bel Air. I have been waiting for over two years for this. Bel Air looks like it will keep the essence of the original idea despite the fact that the original showrunner and his replacement quit in the middle of filming. I know some people are concerned that Jabari will have big shoes to fill, but Fresh Prince was Will Smith’s first big acting gig as well. I have a feeling that Jabari and the rest of the cast will do a great job. I also feel that Bel Air is different enough to stand on its own merits. In my mind, Jabari is carrying his own show not the mantle of Will Smith.
As a 70s kid raised in the 80s and 90s, Fresh Prince felt like a movement so I understand the skepticism about the spinoff/reboot. Seeing a new generation take on the mantel of The Fresh Prince excites me and I hope Bel Air will deliver Morgan Cooper’s original vision. This is coming from someone who hates reboots. I also enjoyed the darker lighting of this show versus the brighter sitcom lighting of the Fresh Prince. As for casting, the new Uncle Phil (Adrian Holmes) doesn’t feel as warm as the original. I need to watch at least two episodes before I make any judgements about the rest of the cast.