The Fresh Prince just got a whole lot fresher. Peacock‘s upcoming Bel-Air, a dramatic reimagining of NBC‘s hit ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has cast its Will. West Philadelphia native Jabari Banks will play the role originated by Will Smith.
Peacock made the announcement in a video Tuesday, featuring Banks receiving the news of his casting directly from Smith. “This is a dream come true,” Banks enthuses. “The way this show has impacted me and my life is incredible.” A true fan, the young actor even pulls up a photo of him and his friends dressed as the cast of the original series.
The series, which has already been ordered for a second season, is inspired by a trailer from writer/director Morgan Cooper which went viral upon its release last year. That trailer examined the central premise of the ’90s sitcom through a dramatic lens, exploring the personal and socioeconomic conflicts inherent in the story. The result was a captivating commentary on class and race in modern America.
In addition to directing and co-writing the new series, Cooper will also serve as executive producer, alongside Smith. Also executive producing are original series creators Andy and Susan Borowitz, as well as original series producers Quincy Jones and Benny Medina. Additional executive producers include Terence Carter, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez, Malcolm Spellman along with T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson, who will also serve as showrunners.
Bel-Air will stream exclusively on Peacock and is expected to arrive in 2022. Check out the announcement video below.
Here’s the official synopsis for the series:
Set in modern-day America, Bel-Air is a serialized one-hour dramatic analogue of the 90’s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” that leans into the original premise: 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 that were impossible to fully explore in a 30-minute sitcom format, while still delivering swagger and nods to the original show.