The 90s sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is getting a reboot based on director Morgan Cooper’s five minute trailer. He released it on Youtube last year and it caught the attention of the Fresh Prince himself Will Smith.
Will will produce Morgan’s re-imagined version, Bel-Air, which will be grittier, darker, and more dramatic than the original. Will and Morgan have been shopping the idea around to several subscription services and networks. On Tuesday, Will announced on his Youtube channel that two seasons of the series have been ordered by the Peacock subscription service. Here is more on the story from Variety via NME:
A Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot has been picked up for two seasons courtesy of subscription platform Peacock, Variety has confirmed.
The upcoming show, titled Bel-Air will be based on a viral video by superfan Morgan Cooper which imagined the sitcom as a drama – and racked up over 5million views.
Cooper will co-write and direct the series, while Chris Collins (The Wire) will serve as showrunner. Will Smith, who played the main character in the comedy series, announced the news yesterday (September 8) on YouTube.
I am so geeked about this show. Not to mention the fact that I have a free Peacock subscription because I am an Xfinity customer! I feel that this reboot is what we need right now as far as storytelling. It feels more on trend with the times and I love how Morgan rewrote the original characters.
This to me is how a reboot should be done. Trying to recreate the magic of an original hit is futile but re-imagining it in a modern voice will guarantee success in my opinion. The fact that Peacock believed in the script so much that they ordered two season upfront is saying something. Most networks order a season or a limited amount of episodes up front.
The other thing that has me truly excited is that the series will have hour long episodes verses thirty like the original. Morgan will also be co-writing and co-producing the series. I love that Will wanted to back new talent. The series will have all of its original producers.
Anyhow, my teenage self is preparing for Bel-Air to drop. In the meantime, I will be watching to see who they will be casting in the roles. I wonder if they will be looking for new talent or picking up some better known names. Either way, this show may be the balm we need in 2021 after such an insane 2020.
Here is the video announcement:
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18 months ago, a young filmmaker from Kansas City @cooperfilms uploaded a video on YouTube reimagining The @freshprince of Bel-Air for present day as a DRAMA! Everybody sent it to me. It was outstanding. I had NEVER envisioned revisiting the Banks family in this way. We knew this was special, so we called @ryokanproductions and asked him to lead the team (he wrote on The Wire) and he said YES! Months of writing, developing and pitching… and now it’s happening. “Bel-Air” got a TWO SEASON order, debuting in 2021 on @nbc’s streaming service @peacocktv. Morgan Cooper and Chris Collins, you are THE TRUTH!! 📹: @westbrook
Note by CB: Here are set photos from the Fresh Prince Bel-Air reunion coming to HBO Max! Janet Hubert, the original Aunt Viv from the first three seasons, is there too. Huh.