Will Smith to produce dark 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' reboot

Raechal Shewfelt
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·2-min read
THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR -- Season 1 -- Pictured: Will Smith as William 'Will' Smith -- Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank
THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR -- Season 1 -- Pictured: Will Smith as William 'Will' Smith -- Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

More than 20 years after the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ended its six-season run on TV, it’s coming back — minus the laugh track and all the neon. (After all, it was the ‘90s.)

Original star Will Smith has teamed up with Morgan Cooper, who created a YouTube trailer for a dramatic version of the sitcom in 2019, along with super producers Benny Medina (who worked on the original) and Quincy Jones on a reimagining. The group is currently shopping the project to streaming services such as NBC’s Peacock, Netflix and HBO Max, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Cooper’s take on Fresh Prince, which went viral when it was first released, was much different than the one audiences remembered. The lighting was dark, the Will character was much broodier. Will’s Uncle Phil was much more intimidating than late actor James Avery portrayed him in the NBC show.

However, the fish-out-of-water story was the same: Will finds himself in trouble in his rough Philadelphia neighbourhood and is sent to live with his aunt and uncle in a swanky part of Los Angeles. The creative trailer was packed with nods to the original series, including Will’s cousin Carlton dancing and an introduction to Will’s friend, Jazz.

Read more: Directors tease plot of Bad Boys 4

News about Fresh Prince arrived one day after a new trailer for the 2020 take on another favourite from the decade, Saved by the Bell.

THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR -- Season 2 -- Pictured: (back row l-r) Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks, Joseph Marcell as Geoffrey, Janet Hubert as Vivian Banks, Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks (front row l-r) Tatyana Ali as Ashley Banks, James Avery as Philip Banks, Will Smith as William'Will' Smith -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank
THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR -- Season 2 -- Pictured: (back row l-r) Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks, Joseph Marcell as Geoffrey, Janet Hubert as Vivian Banks, Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks (front row l-r) Tatyana Ali as Ashley Banks, James Avery as Philip Banks, Will Smith as William'Will' Smith -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

Created by Benny Medina, and written by Andy and Susan Borowitz, Fresh Prince of Bel Air aired on NBC from 10 September, 1990, to 20 May, 1996. Rumours of a reboot surfaced in 2015, but Smith shot them down in 2016 while promoting Suicide Squad.

"I don't think ever, like pretty close to when hell freezes over," Smith told E! about the chances of a Fresh Prince reboot. "Like, we're going to leave that one alone."