Ever wondered how Will really became the prince of a town called Bel-Air? This new re-imagining of the classic 90s sitcom takes us back to where it all started: West Philadelphia.
Another day, another reboot of a 90s classic. But following hot on the heels of Changing Rooms, The Craft and The Addams Family is a remake we’re truly excited about: Bel-Air. (Yes, of The Fresh Prince fame.)
Back in September 2020, the show’s original star, Will Smith, announced on his YouTube channel that US streaming service Peacock had committed to the Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air re-imagining in an “unprecedented” two-season deal. And now we know who will be filling his shoes as the loveable rogue: newcomer singer-songwriter Jabari Banks.
Smith announced the casting in a recorded video call with Banks. “It is an absolute pleasure to meet you, to be on here with you. From the deepest parts of my heart I want to say congratulations to you… you have the role of Will on Bel-Air!” Smith said with excitement.
But fans of the classic 90s sitcom should expect some differences from the original.
Bel-Air will be a serialised one-hour drama version, following the lead character’s move from West Philadelphia to the very different community of Bel-Air.
Peacock added: “With a reimagined vision, Bel-Air will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases that were impossible to fully explore in a 30-minute sitcom format, while still delivering swagger and nods to the original show.”
Smith’s Fresh Prince castmate Alfonso Ribeiro, who played uptight cousin Carlton Banks, also previously expressed how the new incarnation will be “totally different”.
“I like to call it a reimagining. We sometimes throw a lot of things into one word, one concept. A reboot would be taking the actual show and characters and bringing it back. This is a totally different show,” he shared.
“It’s not even based on the show. It’s based on the theme song. It’s a completely different thing. It’s drama. It’s not comedy.”
There are still plenty more details yet to be announced, but Bel-Air looks like it’s shaping up to become an iconic show in its own right. We still hope there’s a hefty serving of 90s nostalgia too, though.
The original Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.