In brief: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was arguably one of the best sitcoms to come out of the 90s and given its cast of characters and many plot lines, it was only a matter of time before someone revisited the concept. It remains to be seen if the remake will be a hit but the trailer was apparently good enough to get at least one major streaming company interested.
Writer and director Morgan Cooper in early 2019 published a trailer on YouTube for Bel-Air, a modern retelling of Will Smith’s struggles as a young teen in West Philadelphia. After running afoul with the law, Will’s mother sends him to live with his aunt and uncle in Bel Air in hopes of getting his life straight.
Rather than the comedic take of the original, this version is much more of a drama that looks to address issues with a serious tone.
The project caught the attention of actor Will Smith, who played the title character in the original sitcom. After shopping the idea around to multiple parties, a bidding war reportedly developed, with Peacock ultimately landing the order for two seasons of the show.
Smith shared news of the signing on YouTube as part of a video chat with Cooper and Chris Collins, who will executive produce the series.
Bel-Air is scheduled to launch on Peacock sometime in 2021 although with Covid-19 complicating production around the world, it’s unclear if that release window will stick.