Will Smith to produce ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ remake based on a fan’s amazing trailer

Archival Cinema
In March 2019, a reimagined trailer of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air produced by filmmaker Morgan Cooper went viral. The gritty and modern depiction of the story got fans of the 90 series hyped, then it caught the attention of Will Smith who later interviewed Cooper on his Youtube channel.

An hour-long remake based on the trailer is being produced by Will’s Westbrook studios and is being shopped around. Netflix, HBOMax and Apple are very interested. The series will take the theme of the original sitcom and modernize it. The Insider gives more details of the series.

On Why Will Smith wanted to co-produce the series
“I saw the trailer that Morgan Cooper hooked up and it’s called, Bel-Air,” Smith said. “This was the first time that I heard something and was like Yo, that’s an idea that is brilliant.’”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Bel-Air” will provide a “dramatic take” on the TV show and will “will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases of what it means to be a Black man in America today.”

The reboot is reportedly being offered to streaming services including NBC’s Peacock, Netflix, and HBO Max. HBO Max is the current streaming home for the original series.

[From The Insider]

When the trailer came out my friends and I had a virtual meltdown because it was so good. The darker take on the series feels relevant for today’s climate and exactly what we need at the moment. Of course I hope they’ll work in the shenanigans that the Fresh Prince and Jazz got up to for comical relief. I still know pretty much all of the lyrics to the song and sometimes watch reruns.

In the trailer Will is still corny and Jazz is cooler but I like how Carlton and Hilary come off quite spoilt and entitled. The uncle Phil in this version is not as lovable but realistically I don’t think a rich uncle taking in his troublemaker nephew would be.

I grew up in the 80s and 90s which I feel were the best decades for black film and television. Those more down to earth sometimes dramatic voices and experiences are often missing from today’s pain porn laden storytelling of the Black American experience. I do hope a major streaming service will pick up this brilliant concept so that it has a global audience and reach. In the meantime, those of us who fell in love with Will Smith and the rest of the Fresh Prince cast will definitely embrace this newer original version of the show.

Here’s the trailer:

Archival Cinema

photos credit: LFI/Photoshot and via Instagram

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17 Responses to “Will Smith to produce ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ remake based on a fan’s amazing trailer”

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  1. Royalwatcher says:

    The trailer looks amazing!! I’d watch for sure.

  2. ItReallyIsYou,NotMe says:

    I’m here for this remake!

  3. Christine says:

    I thought the trailer was so cool and I’m thrilled for Morgan Cooper. This must be so exciting!

  4. Marigold says:

    That looks AMAZING.

  5. Anners says:

    I’m not familiar with Morgan Cooper, but I am here for more of his work. This is brilliant! I would watch the hell outta this show. I like that he kept some of the heart of the show, while making it a more realistic (and scary) experience.

    (Also yes – I feel like in the 80s and 90s I watched far more tv shows that featured POC as the main cast and characters and it wasn’t a thing – it was just normal. POC exist in my town and they exist on tv. I’m not really articulating my thoughts well, but basically I’m trying to say that I miss the diversity that used to feel standard in my formative years while acknowledging that there could still have been some improvement).

    • kimberlu says:

      ^^This absolutely!!
      it seems after 2000 when things got more white and less diverse

      • KL says:

        The 2000 election and the Islamophobia after 9/11 really reset popular culture. The 90s were far from perfect, but a lot of how media trended in the aughts absolutely felt like a huge step backward.

      • EM says:

        I think streaming services probably play a big role, too. Pre-2000 you watched what was on, unless you had a DVR (and I don’t think I had one until much later).

    • Gina says:

      Yes to what you said about TV being more diverse back then.
      Even in Germany they were showing the dubbed versions of American sitcoms with a core POC cast. I grew up thinking that was normal and knowing the area I grew up in was weirdly not-diverse.
      In the 90ies we also had plenty of POC as “vj” s on the music channels.
      It felt like around 2000 there was a shift and now we have to fight for more diversity, like the new millenia brought back ignorance and hatred 10fold.

      Also on the topic of the trailer, it looks amazing and that’s a remake I’ll be happy to watch. The camera work is magnificent.

      • Trillian says:

        I know, right? I am a German Gen Xer and I grew up watching Fresh Prince, The Cosby Show and Family Matters. Watching Black AF recently felt so familiar.

        Love the trailer. I still watch the old episodes on Netflix when I do ironing and will totally watch the remake!

  6. Cate says:

    Trailer is amazing, I would watch a remake of that.

  7. Ariel says:

    That trailer is AMAZING.

  8. Mtec says:

    YESS OMG!! I remember when this fan trailer came out and I was so hoping this would happen!! Thanks for writing about this! I’m so excited for it!! 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽

  9. Blairski says:

    Whoa that looks great! Can’t wait for this!

  10. Kersplasha says:

    Love it! Would 1000% watch!

  11. Onemoretime says:

    Definitely going to watch this!

  12. Juniper says:

    I really like that Will Smith saw it and not only embraced it, but used his influence and collateral to make and shop a pilot.