The first trailer for the dramatic reboot of the beloved Will Smith sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air makes it clear that the Peacock re-imagining will provide a very different take on the story of the wide-eyed young man from West Philadelphia whose life is turned upside down after he moves on up to a swanky mansion in Bel-Air, Calif.
The intense three-minute preview opens with Will (played by newcomer and West Philly native Jabari Banks) trying to hold on to his hometown roots while meeting the house manager (Jimmy Akingbola) of his lavish new digs, as well as such familiar relations as his Aunt Viv (Cassandra Freeman), Uncle Phil (Adrian Holmes), Carlton (Olly Sholotan) and Hilary (Coco Jones) and Ashley (Akira Akbar).
With a smile, Carlton says, “I hope one day we can talk about why you’re really here,” hinting at a tense altercation on a basketball court back at home — which we see in flashback — that put Will on a path to escape a “bad man” looking to settle a score. The updated version of the series that originally aired on NBC from 1990 to 1996 and helped turn Smith into a mainstream star was inspired by a 2019 viral video written and directed by Morgan Cooper that gave the concept a grittier, more dramatic tone.
“3 years ago, my guy Morgan Cooper uploaded his fan trailer to YouTube, showing how he envisioned the Fresh Prince as a drama. Now, here is the first full look at his retelling of the story that’s always been so close to my heart,” wrote Smith in a note accompanying the trailer for the show that will debut with a three-episode drop on Peacock on Feb. 13, followed by new weekly episodes. Among the show’s executive producers are Smith, music icon Quincy Jones (who also exec produced the sitcom), original series creators Andy and Susan Borowitz and producer-manager Benny Medina, whose life was the inspiration for the Smith version.
A Peacock description of the show says it’s set in modern-day California and provides a “dramatic take on 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.”
Checkout the Bel-Air trailer below.