Update: The first trailer for the gritty remake of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is here. Simply titled Bel-Air, the one-hour drama tells the same familiar story of Will's move from West Philadelphia to Bel-Air, Calif. But unlike the 1990s sitcom, this one will deal with more serious themes. It was inspired by a fake trailer by filmmaker Morgan Cooper, which went viral and got the attention of none other than Will Smith, and is now a real thing debuting Feb. 13 on Peacock. Our original story from Aug. 12, 2020, follows:
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is getting rebooted, but it'll be a bit darker than the original version. It all started when filmmaker Morgan Cooper reimagined the 1990s sitcom as a drama, posting a trailer for the pretend show last year that quickly went viral. It even got the attention of original series star Will Smith, who talked to Cooper in April of last year about how much he enjoyed the trailer. Now, the two are working together to turn the show into reality. The hourlong Bel-Air is now being pitched to streaming services and a bidding war has ensued, Deadline reports. Also on board, per the Guardian, are original Fresh Prince producers Benny Medina and Quincy Jones. Cooper will co-write, direct, and executive produce; the showrunner will be Chris Collins of The Wire and Sons of Anarchy.
As Smith noted during that April sit-down, the original series was loosely inspired by his own life; he too, like his character of Will in the show, grew up in West Philadelphia. "We get to go back to the beginning and start talking about my real experiences. For example, for me, I moved to LA and started the Fresh Prince and all of my friends started getting killed and going to jail. The escape that I made from it in real life was the escape that Will made in the show. Was I going to be that same statistic or was I going to do and be something different?" It's far from the only '90s show for which a reboot was recently announced: Others include Saved by the Bell, Daria, Beavis and Butt-Head, Ren & Stimpy, and possibly Moesha. (Plus this seminal '80s show, and this one—but with a Black family this time.)