The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is about to return to his throne, with the help of all the original producers and the biggest catch of them all – series star Will Smith. After a fan-made reimagining of the show went viral last year, it seems like we’ll be getting more tales from Bel-Air via West Philadelphia thanks to director Morgan Cooper.
Proving that the Internet can still mint new talent, breakout director Morgan Cooper’s dark, drama tinged, self-made The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot short film dropped like a bomb back in 2019 and immediately catapulted the unknown Cooper into the Hollywood discussion. The short film served as a trailer and sales piece for Cooper and one that seems to have ultimately worked.
Describing it as a “reinvention,” the trailer/short film’s drop immediately took fans into a different version of the world of the Fresh Prince. The mood of the project took the decidedly sitcom/comedy tone of the original NBC show and turned it upside down into a drama that was more grounded and focused on the core themes of the show, outside of its 90’s inspired, day-glo motifs.
Director Morgan Cooper has worked in commercials and other productions but it’s this project that has propelled him into entertainment’s elite spaces – so much so that the short film garnered the attention of the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith. Cooper, in the end, even was flown out to Miami to chat with Will himself, and that’s presumably how this deal got off the ground in the first place.
Of course, Will recorded their sit-down and released it on his social media channels, sharing his thoughts on the short film and titling his video “How I Really Feel About That Bel-Air Trailer.”
“This is the first time I heard something [where] I was like ‘Yo, that’s an idea that is brilliant,’” Will says to Morgan in the video. Will was effusive about Morgan’s approach to his old show and characters and shared that, “The dramatic version of these ideas means that you can use existing storylines, but, it’s not going to seem like you’re re-doing an episode because the storyline’s going to be brand new from the dramatic perspective.”
Well, it’s all coming together, and it seems as if a deal was reached to bring all parties onboard to make this reboot happen – and quickly, in the age of digital streaming. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that there is indeed a reboot coming and it’s based off of Cooper’s viral short film/trailer and more than likely Will’s love for his idea.
Cooper will be directing, co-writing the script and serving as a co-executive producer for the Bel-Air drama reinvention, coming alongside original star Smith as executive producers – alongside the original creative team from the original NBC show, which included such notables as Quincy Jones and Benny Medina.
It’s currently being shopped to streaming platforms, with Peacock, Netflix and HBO Max among the ones interested in acquiring the show. While Smith won’t star in the show it seems, in the world of reboots, the presence of the original stars matters. Smith’s star has only continued to grow since his time on the show, so this should be an interesting project to see if it ever gets made.
See the trailer below.