Bel-Air has found its new Fresh Prince with newcomer and West Philadelphia local Jabari Banks.
The new version titled Bel-Air, is a drama series based on Morgan Cooper’s viral YouTube trailer. It was a four-minute trailer that reimagined the series as a drama. Cooper a Fresh Prince super-fan, created and directed the 2019 clip that caught Will Smith’s attention.
Bel-Air is set in modern-day America. It is a serialized one-hour dramatic analog of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that leans into the original premise: Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. 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 fun nods to the original show.
Cooper will co-write, direct, and be credited as a co-EP.
Will Smith Smith’s Westbrook Studios will co-produce the update along with the series’ original producers Benny Medina and Quincy Jones. The show’s creators Andy & Susan Borowitz, are also set to return as exec producers. Chris Collins will be the showrunner, exec producer and will co-write the script alongside Cooper.
Bel-Air was picked up by NBC’s streamer Peacock and was given a two-season order in September 2020. T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson, whose credits include The Chi and The 100, serve as executive producers and co-showrunners. Morgan Cooper directs and serves as co-writer and executive producer.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ran for six seasons from 1990-1996 on NBC. The series catapulted Smith to stardom after he spent six seasons starring as the street-smart kid who moved from Philly to the upper-class neighborhood.
Smith starred alongside James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana M. Ali, Joseph Marcell, and Janet Hubert-Whitten/Daphne Maxwell Reid. Smith has remained close with the cast and recently reunited with everyone for Snapchat.