'Excited' Will Smith reveals dramatic 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' reboot coming to NBC's Peacock
"Yo, homes to Peacock."
The drama reboot of NBC's sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" has found a home on NBC Universal's new streaming service.
Will Smith found his breakout role in the 1990-96 series about a West Philadelphia teen who, after getting into some trouble, moves in with his well-to-do family in the ritzy Los Angeles neighborhood.
Smith, who turns 52 this month, announced Tuesday on his YouTube channel that Peacock picked up two seasons of "Bel-Air," based on a speculative trailer by director Morgan Cooper that went viral in 2019. It caught Smith's attention, and he praised the re-imagining a "brilliant."
Smith shared the news with Cooper via video chat and said he was excited to see the themes of "Fresh Prince" explored in the present.
"The Carlton character, a Black young Republican, modern day? The heat that will be stirred up between these characters," he said. "It's like, what's the Hilary character in a world of Instagram and social media?... Uncle Phil, a Black lawyer turned judge today with young Black kids coming before him."
Smith, who will serve as an executive producer, said he would be flexible about his involvement with the new, hourlong show, although Peacock's announcement said nothing about whether he would appear, nor did it provide an expected release date.
"I am excited and I am here to be as involved or as all the way out your way, as you guys need me to be," he said in the clip.
In a conversation with Cooper shared to his YouTube channel last year, Smith said his life would be mined for content.
“We get to go back to the beginning and start talking about my real experiences,” he said. “For example, for me, I moved to LA and started ‘The Fresh Prince,’ 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 gonna be that same statistic, or was I gonna do and be something different?”
Cooper will direct the series and will be a writer as well as co-executive producer. The news comes just days before the 30th anniversary of the original series, which debuted on Sept. 10, 1990.
Plans to reunite the cast on the milestone for an unscripted special to stream later this fall on HBO Max were revealed last month.
The special will feature Smith, as well as his co-stars Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Vivian) and DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jazz).
James Avery, who played Smith's onscreen uncle, Philip Banks, died in 2013.
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