“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” is getting a reboot, but its life is getting flipped-turned upside down. That’s because the new version being developed re-imagines the Will Smith comedy as a drama, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
“Bel-Air” is based on Morgan Cooper’s viral YouTube video from 2019, in which the self-described “Fresh Prince” superfan created a trailer that imagined if the series were a drama. The one-hour drama leans into the original premise of the series — in which Will Smith’s character was relocated from the streets of West Philadelphia to the wealthy Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel-Air — but dives deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases of what it means to be a Black man in America today, while still delivering the swagger and fun nods to the original show.
The potential series is being shopped to streamers and will be a co-production between Westbrook and Universal TV. The original sitcom currently streams on HBO Max.
Cooper will co-write the script, direct and be an executive producer along with Smith. The new version would be an hour-long series. The creative team behind the original series including Quincy Jones, Benny Medina and Andy & Susan Borowitz, are all set to return as executive producers. Chris Collins will co-write the script with Cooper and serve as showrunner.
“Fresh Prince” originally ran on NBC for six seasons between 1990-1996 and helped to catapult Smith to stardom. It also starred James Avery, Alphonso Ribeiro, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell and Janet Hubert.
You can see Morgan’s video below: