A few years back, Morgan Cooper and a group of friends and budding professionals put together a fun little internet short that pitched The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a moody melodrama. A well-shot spin on a well-known subject, the video went viral and even netted the approval of one Will Smith. In the pre-streaming service days, the story would have chilled out, maxed and relaxed all cool right there, but that’s not our era. The video sparked a fierce bidding war and now, Peacock is ready to drop the first look at Bel-Air, a super serious series about a West Philadelphia born and raised kid who gets sent to live with his rich family in …well, you know the rest.
Jabari Banks will play Will, and while he doesn’t look a lot like Smith, his character definitely has the spirit (and sneakers) of the 90s icon. Smith himself is an executive producer on the series (and was a big fan of the short that inspired it) so it’ll definitely be interesting to see where this one goes.
T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson are the executive producers and co-showrunners, and they said that the series “celebrates the strength and love of the Black family.”
“We have stayed true to the original premise of the legacy series – Will’s life is turned upside down after he is forced to leave West Philly and lands in Bel-Air with its gated mansions and wealth, however, our new series brings Will and the Banks family into the world as we know it now. It’s been incredible to bring these iconic characters to life when you tap them into the cultural pulse of our time. The series was the fabric of so many of our upbringings, tied to memories and the joy of seeing ourselves represented on TV so it is important to us to pay respect to its legacy,” they said.