Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air Drama Reboot In The Works
The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air is making a dark return with Bel-Air, an hour-long series based on Morgan Cooper’s popular fan film that re-envisions the 1990s Will Smith sitcom as a drama.
The project, from Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s West brook Studios and Universal Television, is currently being pitched to streamers, drawing strong interest and big commitments, including multiple straight-to-series orders, to set up a bidding war.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new Bel-Air has been in the works for more than a year after the four-minute clip went viral when it was posted in March 2019 caught Smith’s attention.
Cooper, a Fresh Prince super-fan, created and directed the trailer that re-imagined the series as if it were a drama. He will co-write the script, direct and be credited as a co-EP.
Original series producers Smith, Quincy Jones and Benny Medina, as well as creators Andy and Susan Borowitz, are all set to return as executive producers. Chris Collins (The Wire, Crash, Sons of Anarchy) will serve as show-runner, executive producer and is set to co-write the script alongside Cooper.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ran from 1990-1996 on NBC and was produced by Jones, Warner Bros. TV and what became Universal Television.
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 on SnapChat.
Reboots remain in high demand across broadcast, cable and streaming platforms as they come with built-in recognition and a viewership with built-in awareness, helping to reduce the costs of marketing and making it easier to cut through a crowded landscape.
Key to reboots is having the original creators and studio attached, which Bel-Air has in spades. Miguel Melendez and Westbrook Studios’ Terence Carter are also attached to executive produce.
Below is a YouTube trailer released in 2019: