Will Smith will team with Morgan Cooper to adapt his dramatic reimagining of the classic NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Bel-Air will be a dramatic take on the original comedy series that focused on Smith and propelled him to superstardom. However, the origin story of a street-smart kid moving from Philly to an upper-class neighborhood with his aunt and uncle will remain intact. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bel-Air has been in the works for over a year after the four-minute trailer went viral in 2019. After the clip caught the attention of Smith, Cooper, who created and directed the trailer, was brought in to co-write the script, directed, and serve as co-executive producer. The drama series, co-produced by Smith’s Westbrook Studios and original producers Universal TV, is currently being shopped to streamers like Peacock, HBO Max, and Netflix. HBO Max is the current streaming home for the original series.
Original series producers Smith, Quincy Jones, Benny Medina as well as creators Andy & Susan Borowitz, are all set to return as EPs. The original Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ran for six seasons from 1990-1996 on NBC. Smith starred alongside Alfonso Ribeiro, James Avery, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana M. Ali, Joseph Marcell as Jeffrey, and Janet Hubert-Whitten/Daphne Maxwell Reid as Vivian Banks. Recently, members of the original cast reunited via Snapchat.
“Reboots remain in high demand across broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms,” THR notes. Franchises come with built-in recognition and viewership with built-in awareness. What gives these reboots a better chance at success is having the original creators and studio attached, which Bel-Air has retained.
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