There’s a lot more drama coming to Bel Air. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot, aptly titled Bel-Air, is headed to Peacock and will introduce fans to a new generation of stars.
Executive produced by Will Smith — who starred in the original series, which aired on NBC from 1990 to 1996 — the reimagined version of the show has the same premise but is set in modern-day. Fans will watch protagonist Will as he adapts to his new life in the wealthy California suburb of Bel-Air after growing up in West Philadelphia.
Filmmaker Morgan Cooper‘s fan-made Bel-Air trailer from 2019 served as the inspiration for this new series. Once the three-minute video went viral, the idea for Bel-Air came to fruition. Morgan, for his part, is named as a director, cowriter and executive producer on the series. Will announced in a September 2020 YouTube video that the show would be coming to life.
“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,” Peacock’s official logline of the show reads. 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.”
In August 2021, casting announcements started being made with Will passing the metaphorical crown to newcomer Jabari Banks, who will play Will in Bel-Air. At the time, the real-life Will hopped on a call with the budding star and revealed that he nabbed the starring role.
“Growing up, people always told me I resembled Will and his energy,” Jabari told Entertainment Weekly in November 2021. “When I got the call, they said, ‘This isn’t Will Smith, superstar.’ They weren’t going for that. And so when they chose me, it took me a couple of weeks to realize that they chose me for me — for what I do. I just had to lean into my instincts and everything that I’ve learned from my experiences, and there’s so many parallels between me and Will, the character.”
Since working alongside Will on the show, Jabari told Entertainment Tonight in February 2022 that the seasoned actor has offered “a lot of advice on how to go about this career in general.”
He added: “The biggest thing I think he would say for this role is just to be myself. Because that’s what he was doing up there as the Fresh Prince in the original series that we all know and love. He was just being himself.”
Scroll through our gallery to meet the cast of Peacock’s Bel-Air.
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