Will Smith shared the trailer Friday for HBO Max’s “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” 30th anniversary reunion special. He also gave us a Nov. 19 premiere date — so get ready to get jiggy wit it just before Thanksgiving.
Smith, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro and DJ Jazzy Jeff are all back in the (fake) mansion’s living room for the streaming special. And so is the big memory of big James Avery — though he clearly never left the cast.
One surprise in the special — at least to the cast, it has since been reported — was Smith’s invitation to original Aunt Viv Janet Hubert. She accepted.
Hubert was fired before “Fresh Prince” Season 4 and replaced by Reid for reasons that are still not fully understood — explanations range from creative differences, to contract disputes, to claims that she was fired because she got pregnant. And for his part, Smith was vocal about problems he and Hubert had working together.
Since then, Hubert has maintained a decidedly negative opinion of her former co-stars. In 2016, she criticized Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith for boycotting the Oscars to protest the lack of diversity. The following year, Hubert called out Ribeiro after he posted a photo with the rest of the main cast.
Smith took the high road in ’16, when he called Hubert “a brilliant artist” who “brought a really powerful dignity to the show.”
One of our favorite moments in the HBO Max reunion special’s trailer is Smith recalling how many times Jazzy Jeff turned down the opportunity to play Jazz. Best buds Smith and Jeff essentially played exaggerated versions of themselves in the classic comedy series — though the rapper’s DJ took a bit of convincing.
Watch the reunion special’s trailer via the video above.
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” aired for six seasons (1990-1996) and 148 episodes. The concept is currently being rebooted as a drama series, and has a two-season order at NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock.