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.
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:
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The response to Bel-Air has been amazing! I’ve been getting a lot of messages asking about the cam/lens choices I made on this project. I shot Bel-Air on Alexa Mini + Cooke S4’s. All of the Philly scenes were captured on a 32mm with no filtration, & all of the Bel-Air scenes were captured with a 28 and 50mm with 1/4 Black ProMist filtration.
photos credit: LFI/Photoshot and via Instagram