A gritty Fresh Prince of Bel Air reboot is coming

This reboot comes with a serious twist.

by Douglas Greenwood
12 August 2020, 10:50am

Can you believe it’s been almost 25 years since everybody’s favourite American sitcom went off the air, birthing one of entertainment’s biggest stars in the process? Yep, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and in honour of that wild milestone, the Will Smith-starring show is set to get a reboot. But there’s a twist.

The story of a rebellious teenager who’s sent to live with his wealthy relatives in Los Angeles after getting into trouble in his West Philadelphia hometown, Fresh Prince is set to take a darker turn this year, as the series is revived as a drama rather than a straight-up comedy. Using the framework of the original series -- characters, locations, concepts and all -- it’s likely to be more in line with The Wire than it would be the staple 90s sitcoms, and is set to be a more emphatic look into what it’s like to be a Black man in America today.

Tentatively titled Bel Air, the show’s forthcoming reboot was actually inspired by a fake trailer made by filmmaker Morgan Cooper, in which he came up with the concept and format inspired by the original show. The trailer went viral, grabbing the attention of Will himself, who posted a reaction to it on his YouTube channel.

He went on to become one of the key producers on the project alongside his wife under their company Westbrook Studios with the assistance of Universal Television. The show is currently in the writing stages, with Chris Collins co-writing. Chris is best known for his work on The Man in the High Castle and The Wire.

The show is still in its early stages, but is being pitched to major streaming services as we speak. If all goes to plan, expect Bel Air to arrive on screens in the next couple of years.

Fresh Prince of Bel Air