'Bel-Air' Teaser Introduces Jabari Banks As Will In Drama Reboot Of Iconic Series At Peacock
Photo Credit: Peacock
Television

'Bel-Air' Teaser Introduces Jabari Banks As Will In Drama Reboot Of Iconic Series At Peacock

Ahead of its premiere in 2022, the very first teaser has been released for Bel-Air, the drama series reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Led by Jabari Lewis as will, it also stars Adrian Holmes as Phillip Banks, Cassandra Freeman as Vivian Banks, Olly Sholotan as Carlton Banks, Coco Jones as Hilary Banks, Akira Akbar as Ashley Banks, Jimmy Akingbola as Geoffrey, Jordan L. Jones as Jazz and Simone Joy Jones as Lisa.

The series, titled Bel-Air, is out of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Universal Television. It is based on the viral concept trailer from Morgan Cooper released in 2019. Peacock won a buzzy bidding war for the series after Smith contacted Cooper and wanted to develop the project. The NBCUniversal streamer already has a two-season order for the series.

The official description:

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. 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. 

The co-showrunners are T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson. Cooper is directing and is the co-writer and executive producer.

Exec producers are Will Smith, Terence Carter, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez, Malcolm Spellman, Quincy Jones, Benny Medina, and Andy & Susan Borowitz.

In a statement received by S&A, Brady and Rasheed Newson said:

“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.”

They also spoke about finding Banks as the lead, adding, “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, recognized that Jabari embodied the talent, charisma, and sheer swagger necessary to make this iconic role his own.”

“With this dramatic reimagining, we wanted to create a show that stands on its own while honoring the spirit and innovation of the original series,” said Cooper. “Because Bel-Air is a drama, we’re able to really peel back the layers of these characters and themes in a way that you simply couldn’t do 30 years ago in the half-hour sitcom format. We’re able to go have tough conversations that challenge perspectives. At its core, Bel-Air is a celebration of the black experience through the perspective of a family. My approach to the series started with a deep focus on tone and really being intentional with my creative choices. I’m inspired by a lot of things as a director; it could be a random conversation, memories from my past, it could be art, music, fashion. Everything can be inspiration, and having a two-season order gives us the opportunity to go infinitely deeper narratively, visually, and aesthetically. I think that with Bel-Air we have created something unique and honest.

The teaser dramatic reading of the original series' theme song, read by Will Smith.

Watch the teaser below:

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