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12th Aug 2020

A Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot is coming – but as a serious drama

Wil Jones

The good news: Will Smith is involved

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is one of the most quintessential 1990s sitcoms, the show which of course helped transform Will Smith from a popular pop-rapper into a global superstar, and introduced us to the Carlton dance.

But now, like seemingly everything else from the 1990s – Ren & Stimpy, Four Weddings & A Funeral, Full House – it is getting a reboot.

But this reboot looks like it is going to be very different – instead of a breezy sitcom, it is going to be a gritty drama.

Why? You might have seen the viral spoof trailer for Bel-Air, a fake remake of the show reimagined as a realistic drama, created by fan Morgan Cooper. The clip has racked up two million views since being posted in March 2019, and caught the attention of Will Smith himself. He liked it so much that it is now being shopped around as an actual series.

Last year, Smith even released a vlog of him meeting with Cooper.

According to Hollywood Reporter, the show is being offered to streamers including HBO Max, Netflix and Peacock.

THR says the show is being described as “a dramatic take on the beloved ’90s comedy” that will “dive 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”.

As you can see from the viral video, it follows the same premise as the original, but offering a much more serious take on what it would be like to be transported from a difficult upbringing to a well-off family.

As well as Will Smith, original producers Quincy Jones and Benny Medina, and series creators Andy and Susan Borowitz are all on board as exec producers.

The original The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ran from 1990 to 1996, for 148 episodes over six seasons.