This Is A Story All About How A Viral Youtube Video Became The Next ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’
That’s right the 90s classic starring Will Smith is being flipped-turned upside down into a dramatic television series.
You might remember a year ago when a creative YouTube trailer of a dramatic version of the beloved series “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” went viral. When the original trailer first came out, fans could not stop talking about the accurate POV the series presented of the original NBC comedy. The fresh trailer clipped out the goofy and playful nature that a young Will Smith presented in the original series and revealed a much more dramatic reimagining of the series about a street-wise teen who moved from West Philadelphia to Bel Air, California. The trailer was such a success among fans that it went so far as to capture the attention of the original star of the series.
Now, the series that catapulted Will Smith to stardom is getting a remake.
The new series called “Bel-Air” is described as a “dramatic take” on the former series that ran for six seasons.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new series has been in the works for well over a year after the four-minute trailer went viral last March. The creator behind the series, Morgan Cooper, has been a longtime Fresh Prince fan and directed and posted the trailer which reimagined the series with much darker undertones. Cooper will produce the series alongside the original Will Smith. He will also co-write and direct.
What’s more, the new series is headed back home
Just a month ago the repackaged drama is being shopped to streamers and will be co-produced by Smith’s Westbrook Studios and the original producer of the series: Universal TV.
According to The Hollywood Reporter Peacock, Netflix and HBO Max were some of the top streamers bidding on the series. “HBO Max is the current streaming home for the original series,” THR reports. “Bel-Air is described as an hourlong dramatic retelling of the beloved ’90s sitcom that leans into the original premise of Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. With a reimagined vision, Bel-Air will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases of what it means to be a Black man in America today, while still delivering the swagger and fun nods to the original show.”
Earlier this week, Will Smith announced on his YouTube Channel that the new series has been signed to Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service.
“We have just officially closed the deal with Peacock with an unprecedented two-season order from a pitch,” Smith announced in the video. “I’ve been in this business for 30 years, and that does not happen.”
Speaking about his excitement over seeing his classic series get a modern twist, Smith said “The Carlton character — a Black, young Republican, modern-day? The heat that will be stirred up between these characters. It’s like, what’s the Hilary character in a world of Instagram and social media?”
Besides Smith, the new series will see original participants such as Quincy Jones, Benny Medina, and creators Andy & Susan Borowitzreturn return as executive producers.
You may remember that the original “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” series ran for six seasons from 1990-1996 on NBC. At the time it was produced by Jones and Warner Bros. TV and it starred young Will Smith as the titular character “Will Smith” and featured actors James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana M. Ali, Joseph Marcell, Janet Hubert-Whitten and Daphne Maxwell Reid.
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