It worked for the Archie comics with Riverdale, and now nineties sitcom The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air is getting a grittier, darker reboot as well.
Will Smith is attached to executive produce a gritty, dramatic reimagining of the show which made him famous, based on a fan-made trailer video that went viral last year, Variety reports.
The Bel-Air ‘official’ trailer, made by Fresh Prince superfan Morgan Cooper, had the tagline on YouTube: ‘What would happen if Will Smith made The Fresh Prince today? Bel-Air, a story of a kid from Philly whose life got turned upside-down… in 2019.’
Since it was posted last March, it’s garnered nearly five and a half million views, and has sparked conversations all over from fans of the NBC hit comedy to individuals within the industry.
The atmospheric and moody trailer successfully updates certain tropes from the original series, with intense passages of real-feeling police brutality as well as the moment Will’s mother tells him, ‘The only reason why you’re not in jail is because uncle Phil called in a favor!’
Fashion choices are significant and updated to today as well, with garment taglines saying ‘Free Meek’ and ‘What would Meek do’ (references to rapper Meek Mill and his battle with the U.S. justice system following a disputed conviction in 2007).
Cooper will co-write and direct the new project, as well as serve as a co-executive producer alongside Smith, 51.
Also exec producing are Quincy Jones, Benny Medina, Andy and Susan Borowitz, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’s original creators and producers, among others.
No word yet on where the new version of the show will be viewable, but it’s being shopped all around, including at HBO Max where the original sitcom can currently be seen.
The original Fresh Prince ran from 1990 until 1996, putting Smith on the map as a bona fide comedy star, earning him two Golden Globe nods for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical.
From there he went on to become one of the biggest box office draws of the decade, with films like Independence Day, the first Men In Black movie, Bad Boys and I Am Legend.
It is also yet to be confirmed whether Will would appear in front of the camera in some capacity in the new version of the show – an actor by the name of Jerry Madison portrayed his character in the gritty Bel-Air trailer from last year.
Unconfirmed as well is whether other favorite cast members from the first version of the show – including Alfonso Ribeiro, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons and Joseph Marcell – would be involved in this new go-round.
Actor James Avery, who played Will’s conservative and rich uncle Phil, passed away at age 68 in 2013.
The cast of the show reunited for a tearful tribute to the actor during their Snaptchat reunion this past April.