Trailer: Peacock’s Bel-Air reboot arrives this February
James R | On 12, Jan 2022
More than 30 years after the Fresh Prince’s life got flipped-turned upside down, Peacock is doing the same thing this February, with new drama series Bel-Air arriving on our screens.
Set in modern-day America, the one-hour drama series imagines the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air through a new, dramatic take, chronicling Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. As these two worlds collide, Will reckons with the power of second chances while navigating the conflicts, emotions, and biases of a world far different from the only one he’s ever known.
Executive produced by Will Smith and inspired by Morgan Cooper’s viral trailer that reimagined the iconic, culture-defining 90s sitcom, Bel-Air takes a fresh and raw approach to this world of swagger, style and aspiration, while exploring Will’s complex journey through a current lens. Jabari Banks stars as Will, while Cooper serves as director, co-writer and executive producer, alongside co-showrunners and executive producers TJ Brady and Rasheed Newson.
The series will premiere on 14th February on Peacock in the UK, which is available at no additional cost on Sky and NOW.
Watch: Peacock unveils first trailer for Bel-Air drama series
23rd November 2021
Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down… Those are the iconic words that open The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – and now, Peacock is giving them a fresh spin in new drama Bel-Air.
Set in modern-day America, Bel-Air is a serialised reimagining of the Will Smith-starring 90s sitcom, which 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 weren’t fully explored in the original’s 30-minute sitcom format, while still delivering “swagger and nods to the original show”.
The series stars newcomer Jabari Banks as Will, Adrian Holmes as Phillip Banks (At That Age, V Wars), Cassandra Freeman as Vivian Banks (The Enemy Within, Atlanta), Olly Sholotan as Carlton Banks (Run Hide Fight, Evolution of Nate Gibson), Coco Jones as Hilary Banks (Let it Shine, Vampires vs The Bronx), Akira Akbar as Ashley Banks (We Can Be Heroes, Captain Marvel), Jimmy Akingbola as Geoffrey (Most Dangerous Game, In The Long Run), Jordan L Jones as Jazz (Rel, Snowfall) and Simone Joy Jones as Lisa (The Chair, What If).
Behind the camera, the series is exec-produced by co-showrunners TJ Brady and Rasheed Newson, Morgan Cooper, who also directs and co-writes, and Will Smith, Terence Carter, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez, Malcolm Spellman, Quincy Jones, Benny Medina and Andy and Susan Borowitz.
It is produced by Universal Television and Westbrook Studios, a division of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s media company Westbrook Inc.
Brady and Newson say: “At its heart, Bel-Air is a coming-of-age story that celebrates the strength and love of the Black family. We have stayed true to the original premise of the legacy series – Will’s life is turned upside down after he is forced to leave West Philly and lands in Bel-Air with its gated mansions and wealth, however, our new series brings Will and the Banks family into the world as we know it now. It’s been incredible to bring these iconic characters to life when you tap them into the cultural pulse of our time. The series was the fabric of so many of our upbringings, tied to memories and the joy of seeing ourselves represented on TV so it is important to us to pay respect to its legacy.”
“During the development of Bel-Air, the most daunting question was: Could we find a young actor who’d be able to step into the role of Will Smith? Well, did we ever find him. His name is Jabari Banks and he won our hearts in the same way he won this role. Our creative team, including Will Smith, recognised that Jabari embodied the talent, charisma, and sheer swagger necessary to make this iconic role his own.”
The series will premiere on Peacock in 2022. With Will Smith involved, and lending his voice to the distinctive trailer, NBC will be hoping Bel-Air becomes a buzzy flagship title for its fledgling streaming platform. Peacock recently launched in the UK as part of both Sky and NOW – with no extra cost – but comes with a limited range of exclusive, original titles, such as the 2020 revival of Saved by the Bell.
Here’s the video: