From a fan’s gritty fake trailer of how The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air story could have been told, comes the new Peacock reimagining of the 90s classic sitcom, Bel-Air. Golden Globe winner, Will Smith, took to his YouTube channel to share the trailer with fans. “3 years ago, my guy Morgan Cooper uploaded his fan trailer to YouTube, showing how he envisioned the Fresh Prince as a drama. Now, here is the first full look at his retelling of the story that’s always been so close to my heart. Can’t wait for you guys to see it, “says the executive producer.
The official synopsis reads: “Set in modern-day America, Peacock’s new one-hour drama series Bel-Air reimagines the beloved sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air through a new, dramatic take on Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. As these two worlds collide, Will (Jabari Banks) reckons with the power of second chances while navigating the conflicts, emotions, and biases of a world far different from the only one he’s ever known. Executive produced by Will Smith, and inspired by Morgan Cooper’s viral trailer that reimagined the iconic, culture-defining ’90s sitcom. “The reimagining has cast Jabari Banks as Will, Adrian Holmes as Phillip Banks, Olly Sholotan as Carlton Banks, Cassandra Freeman as Vivian Banks, Coco Jones as Hilary Banks, Akira Akbar as Ashley Banks, Jimmy Akingbola as Geoffrey and Jordan L. Jones as Jazz.
Prepare yourselves for this evening’s earworm.
‘In West Philadelphia born and raised
On the playground was where I spent most of my days
Chillin ‘out, maxin’, relaxin ‘, all cool
And all shootin ‘some b-ball outside of the school
When a couple of guys who were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared
She said, “You’re movin ‘with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air’
The new trailer showed the fight on the basketball court, but landing in jail with a menacing threat from a man in another cell does put the relocation in a different light. While our 90s Will appears to be comfortable in his new surroundings, not bending his personality to appease his adopted family, our Will 2.0 shows just how difficult that hurtle can be. The lovable, pompous, rhythmically-challenged Carlton of the original recipe has been replaced by a savvy young man who appears to lack the joviality Alfonso Ribeiro brought to the character.
As far as reimaginings go, Bel-Air is bringing the opposite to the table of what many reboots are doing. Instead of taking dramas or horror and giving them a tongue-in-cheek treatment, winking at the silliness of the offering of yesteryear, they are able to utilize a shortcut to endear the audience to the character. We love Will. We’ve loved him since 1990. The audience is completely invested in Will’s welfare and acceptance of his new surroundings. Catch the Bel-Air series premiere on Peacock on February 13.
Will Smith is developing a reboot of his beloved 1990s sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but only as a producer, and not a star.
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